Wednesday, November 27, 2013


OK so It may seem like I totally gave up on the 365 days of gratitude but...I did not. I opted to only write about it in a journal and not blog about it as well because it became way too cumbersome. Maybe when I hit a milestone like 50 I'll do a recap of the topic I chose for each day. But life just got way too nuts to write about it twice.

ANYWAY....lots to look forward to in December!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 3 - Horse Back Riding

Even though I don't do it nearly as much as I used to, today  I am grateful for horse back riding. Owning horses and horse back riding is something that I will forever be grateful for. It is something that no matter how long I go without doing, I will be able to get back on a horse and know what to do without even thinking. I was so fortunate to have parents who were willing to dish out the cash to allow me to carry out my dream of riding. They paid for the horses, saddles, blankets, feed, board, show fees, lessons, and countless other expenses (the farrier and the vet!). I learned so many valuable lessons and an insane amount of responsibility from horse back riding. I had the pleasure of interacting with and riding some of the most amazing horses on the planet. I consider myself very luck to have been able to ride for 10+ years!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 2- LOVE

Today I am grateful for the insane amount of love that surrounds me. Not only by my wonderful fiance ( I don't know why but he still puts up with me), but by my amazing friends, and my insanely awesome family! This move and transition to Florida has made me feel like there is a serious void in the love department. But I keep on reminding myself that although I am almost 1300 miles away from the place I called home the last 25 years, I am still surrounded by an over abundance of love. No matter what happens or where I am I will always be surrounded by LOVE (even when I feel like the grinch).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day - 1 YOGA

Today I am grateful for my yoga practice. Yoga has become something that I turn to in the deepest darkest times. No matter what, It has an amazing way of changing my mood (even if getting up for class was the hardest part of my day). I always leave class feeling refreshed and rejuvinated. Many times I welcome a good cry, before, during, and/or after class. It is an unbelievable release and changes my entire mood. Yoga has not only made me physically stonger but mentally stronger. My mind has learned to block out the mindless mind chatter. It has learned how to settle down and calm itself even in the most stressful of times. There is nothing that a solid practice, breath work, and meditation can't take care of.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Project: 365 Days of Gratitude

So in an attempt to start journaling/blogging more I have decided that I will take on the 365 days of gratitude challenge. Lately since my move I have been in a pretty insane "funk". I just haven't been myself. Hopefully this project, along with picking back up on my yoga practice hardcore, can help me workout all my kinks that have found their way into my mind, body, and soul lately. 

I found this awesome quote this morning by Robin Sharma (aka The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari...put the book on hold at the library and can't wait to read it, haha) and it really sparked something that made me want to work out the kinks for real and get myself back to where I was before I left Long Island. 

"There ''are'' no mistakes in life, only lessons. 
There is no such thing as a negative experience, 
only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along 
the road of self-mastery. 
From struggle comes strength. 
Even pain can be a wonderful teacher."
— Robin Sharma

This just sparked something and it kinda felt like the pieces just fell into place as I was laying in strange and hard to explain. 

Feel free to join in as well! Even if you do it once a week or month it'll probably feel good!
The first gratitude post will be posted later today so be on the lookout! 
I'll also be posting little blurbs on my instagram account so be sure to follow there as well ( @thatslinkygirl). If you do choose to participate feel free to tag me @thatslinkygirl and hastag #dailygratitudewithslinky long I know but it'll help me see everyone's posts! Tag it even if you dont participate everyday!

Much love and GRATITUDE on this Sunday morning 
<3 Jess

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wanderlust - Yoga in the City - New York City (better late than never...)

A few months ago I had heard about Wanderlust's Yoga in the City event and some friends and I decided to sign up for the nearest one in the ever enticing NYC. Being that it is only about an hour and a half (on a good day with no traffic...) from us we were insanely excited for this event...even though we signed up what felt like months before it...and almost forgot about it until 4 or 5 days before it.

On our way into the city, while cruising through the busy NYC streets, we were involved in a little bit of a fender bender where someone rear ended us. This made us late for the session that we were supposed to taking. After the whole ordeal was done and we finally found a parking garage, we arrived at Hudson River Park to check in. The women working the gate were so understanfding and allowed us to take the 4:30pm class. HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF! We began to walk around and check out the vendors. Awesome jewelry, tons of freebies, and tonsssssssss or sparkly, shiny, happy yogi/yogini faces!

After the class before ours ended, we found spaces on the grass for our mats (somewhat close to the stage). We were lucky enough to take class with Dana Flynn or Laughing Lotus Yoga (AMAZING), Raghunath (also AMAZING), and David Romanelli (again...also AMAZING). I had heard such amazing things about Dana Flynn and was so excited to finally be able to take one of her classes. Here energy is out of this world and he mantras were something that will stick with me forever. David Romanelli's personality was also amazing, his voice was soothing, and I loved how many quotes he infused into class. Last but not least Raghunath was also just so inspiring. He subtly pushed you to push your limits.

Overall, the whole experience was amazing. We all left feeling totally blissed out and happy!
Be sure to checkout their website for future Yoga in the City events

Now....for some pictures!

 The banner welcoming you to YITC

Tons of people having fun in the sun

Acro yoga demo!

People playing around after the acro demo

Rocked my All you can yoga ambassador gear

 My tote bag, too...

 Assisting in a little pincha fun!

Shot of me and my friend Sarah on the YITC page

We decided to have some acro fun

Group shot after class!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Playing Catch-up!

Wow it's been a while. Since the last time I actually had time to sit down and write a blog entry so much has happened and changed!

Let's start with the fact that in March I started my first real yoga gig at a studio called Om Shanti Om Yoga Center in Sayville, NY. It's a beautiful studio with such great ambiance. If you are on Long Island and are looking for a new studio to practice in, I highly recommend it...and not just because I work there. Before I started teaching there I used to take classes there. They also offer FREE yoga in a park in walking distance from the studio on Sunday mornings starting on June 30th from 9:00-10:00 am. (click here for more info). Worth checking out for sure. Also this summer there are a lot of fun workshops being offered! Check out Om Shanti Om's website for more information on events/classes/packages/etc.

This app on my phone has been more addicting than Facebook! For those of you not familiar with Instagram, it's an app like Facebook, but instead of posting "statuses" you post pictures. When I first got one I wasn't quite sure what to post pictures of besides the typical foodie shot or "selfsies", until I discovered the immense yoga community on Instagram. I also discovered these monthly challenges that people will either work on their own, or a group of a few dedicated yogis/yoginis will team up to produce these challenges. There is also a company called Grow Soul Beautiful that has set up an Instagram (@growsoulbeautiful) and they put out a great monthly challenge!
If you happen to have an Instagram here are a few great yogis/yoginis with awesome challenges

  • @stretchloveyoga and the #smilingyogis challenge
  • @laurasykora , @masumi_g , @beachyogagirl , and @gypsetgoddess and the #maytheforcebewithyogis challenge
  • @fitqueenirene , @cheryld126 , and @yogitoes123 and the #bendyyogis challenge
  • @sequellife_bp , @humblebeginningsyoga , @treehouseohm , and @shauna_harrison and the #springbalance challenge
  • @growsoulbeautiful and the #YogaADay challenge 
I highly recommend checking all of these guys out...even if you don't participate in their challenges they are all awesomely inspiring!
P.S. these are only SOME of the challenges not all of them...feel free to post a comment of any other challenges you know of or might have even come up with on your own!
P.S.S. Feel free to follow me on instagram @thatslinkygirl

Last thing on my agenda to write about is All You Can Yoga. I recently stumbled upon their instagram account and fell in love with the concept of this company. They help promote teachers and their classes as well as connect with fellow teachers. I finally figured hey what they heck I'll apply to be an ambassador, not thinking I'd get it. But sure enough I got an email saying I had been accepted to be an #aycyambassador ! It was like opening a college acceptance lettter! Such an exciting endeavor. You can check them out on their website, their facebook , or check them out on Instagram @allyoucanyoga ! Thanks to Vanessa Birnbaum for setting up such a wonderful community :)

Until next time...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yoga bowl!

Friday-today(Sunday) we were lucky enough to have Lululemon's annual warehouse sale right here on Long Island! I love my Lulu and was so excited when I saw their post about "Yoga Bowl". Being that I had to work I knew I'd only be able to go either Friday right after work or at some point during the weekend. I thought about it and Friday after work sounded like the most logical...I mean come on I didn't want to miss out on the good merch by going on Sunday. 
I ended up dragging my boyfriend along so he could hold all of the goodies I'd be buying myself (I ended up feeling bad for dragging him in the long run). Based on all of the photos hash tagged #yogabowl on instagram and twitter, I was expecting a massively long line when we got there but I guess waiting till after work ended up paying off.
 We got there and walked right in. When we walked in and went downstairs there was this beautiful lady in the lobby flowing through postures with such grace and beauty. As we neared the doors towards the sale I thought for sure there'd be a line inside ..but no we walked right in again. They had a DJ playing music and people dancing. Not to mention the amazingly full racks of Lululemon men's and women's clothing and iviva which is their children's line. I was In absolute heaven...I mean what person wouldn't be...besides my poor bored boyfriend. I managed to snag 2 tanks, 2 pairs of pants, a pair of crops, some shorts, and a mat strap. 
There were some awkward moments of women changing in the middle of the shopping floor...when there were fitting rooms easily accessible. Strange but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do or something like that....

All in all it was pretty successful, I was hoping for some wunderunders but I didn't find any in my size. Oh well just means I'll need to splurge at the East Hampton store when I have more cash flow.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Journey....I'm Officially A Certified Yoga Instructor!

Yesterday I became a member of the first class to graduate from the LI Kula Yoga Center's first 200 hr yoga teacher training program! It was a long 6 months and had it's emotional ups and downs. But all of my hard work and efforts paid off.
I remember the thoughts flying in my head after our first full day..."what the hell am I doing her?!". I had no idea what I was signing up for or even why. I didn't even think that I wanted to teach at that point. I kept telling myself..."I'm only here to learn more" I really didn't know what was to come. As the weeks went on I became more and more fascinated. Having only been hardcore practicing for under a year, I had completely immersed myself into the philosophy and all the other aspects of yoga aside from the asanas.
I'll never forget our first teaching assignment  We were given it in class and had about an hour to prep it. It was only a short sequence...nothing too crazy. But the nerves were flowing in full force, how was I going to get up in front of my peers and teach them! When it was my turn I felt my face turn red, my voice got shaky, "oh no" I thought. Considering the nerves it went pretty well...only problem was breathing, demonstrating, and talking all at the same time. I didn't understand how linking all three things was ever going to be possible.
With practice and efforts this all became easier. Our next teaching assignment went so much better. I had a month to prep it, teach it, and practice. Speaking and demoing was so much easier this time. This is about when I start to think that I might be able to actually teach. As the weeks went on the teaching and round robins became slightly easier and easier.
Before I knew it, it was time to start prepping my final hour long class. I still cannot believe how fast those 6 months went.  I knew exactly what I wanted my apex to be. It was handstand, mainly because handstand was something that I had struggled with and through my teacher training journey I had be able to start kicking myself into it and began to love and become obsessed with going into the pose (side note: I now kick myself up into handstand at least once a day to make sure I don't loose it, haha.) I slowly began to build my sequence. Warm ups  shoulder openers, apex, cool downs oh and donkey kicks because sometimes it is just necessary to kick yourself in your own ass...and they are great intense handstand preps. On Thursday night I saw a quote that really just set the tone of this whole experience  "Life's not about the destination, but the journey".
This quote really just solidified everything. I felt almost at peace and ease when I saw it. I instantly knew that it needed to be in my opening and closing meditation of my class.
The day was so emotional and amazing at the same time. At the end of it all it was such a humbling and amazing journey to be on. I cannot wait to see what the next path holds for me.
*Special thanks to everyone at LI Kula Yoga: my amazing teacher Desiree, My amazing classmates (Linda, Beth, Stacey, Kristina, Lisa,and Ernie). You have all helped me grow and find myself!
<3 Jess

Shoulders, Shoulders, Shoulders....Oh and Handstand

A few years back I was injured at work and needed to have shoulder surgery. I tore two places in my rotator cuff and needed to have a dissolvable implant put in. I didn't ever think that my shoulder would be  nearly as strong as it was before I was injured. So how exactly does this tie in to yoga you may ask...well let me tell you a little story. Last February when I began my yoga journey I never thought I'd be able to do handstand or anything else that would require a lot of strength and energy from my shoulder. While in class I'd just watch the others and think to myself, "jeeze they are crazy, I could never do that!". Little did I know that in under a year I'd have the strength and will power to do it.
When I first began yoga it was about 2 years post-op. My range of movement was nowhere near what it was and I didn't expect it to get any better.
After about a month or two of yoga my shoulder felt completely different. It was stronger, more flexible, and didn't have the chronic pain that it used to get. But I still couldn't kick myself up into handstand. I began to realize that it was a mind over matter deal. When I was finally able to get myself over the fear of falling or even dying, I'd eventually be able to get myself up into it. I'd get so down on myself after class because I couldn't do it by myself.  I needed to keep reminding myself that when I was ready it would come to me.
One weekend we had two full days of yoga teacher training. In the morning class we went through the usual class and then came time for inversions. I prayed in my head that it'd be something like forearm balance or headstand but not handstand. But of course it was handstand...."Here we go" I thought to myself. "Another weekend of needing someone to hoist me up", I try to kick up once...nothing, twice...still nothing, then on the third time, like a charm, I kicked my left leg up pumped with my right to the count of three and released. My right leg came to meet my left and there I was, up in handstand without anyone assisting me. I let out a "yay"(I think a little squeal of joy too...) and my teacher and fellow students all turned to me and clapped or said words of encouragement.
Now that I've gotten myself over that hump of negativity towards myself and the pose it comes more naturally. I don't get into it the first time I kick up but hey who cares as long as the intention and focus are there.
It just goes to show you that anything really is possible as long as you keep your eye on the prize and remain focused. I attached a few recent handstand pictures :)
For my next post I'm working on some handstand prep poses and shoulder openers! Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

With the start of the new year I have decided to chronicle my journey through the rest of my yoga teacher training as well as my path along this long and winding road we call life. 

The Background
A year ago I would have never thought I'd be where I am right now. I am only a few short weeks away from completing my 200 hour yoga teacher training. I never would have thought I'd be doing anything remotely close to that. Before last spring I was as far away from an aspiring yogini as possible. I thought by this present moment in time I'd be working towards becoming a speech language pathologist or possibly becoming a certified teacher. My my how things really do change. 

Last spring was my last semester at Suffolk County Community college before I graduated with my associates in Child Study. I needed one more gym credit to graduate and seeing as there was an opening in the yoga class I jumped right on it figuring that it would be an easy credit and thinking I'd flow through a few asanas and go home. Cake, right?

Man was I wrong. I stepped into the class and the teacher was already there. She had such a presence and energy about her. My perspective changed from that point on. Not only did I learn about the asanas but I also learned about the 8 limbs, and mainly the yamas and niyamas which I suddenly became fascinated with. I became enthralled with the practice and history of yoga. It was as if nothing else mattered but yoga. My instructor had a yoga studio about 10 minutes from where I lived and I quickly decided that as soon as the semester and graduation we over with I'd be signing up at the studio for sure. May rolled around and was at the studio. Taking classes almost everyday learning and submersing myself in the beautiful practice. 

Come late June my instructor (the same one from the college) handed me a booklet on the upcoming teacher training that she'd be doing at the studio and told me to consider it. It was something I almost instantly said yes to. It would be a new path for me, a new journey, and I was so unbelievably excited to start. 

August seemed to come up so quickly. The first teacher training weekend was looming and I started to get the butterflies and insanely nervous. "Is this the right path for me?", "will I actually be able to teach a class as great as Des?" these are just a few of the questions and thoughts swimming around in my head. I was eventually able to just push them out and I'd tell myself that no matter how teacher training went, the experience was what I was really in it for. The journey and leaning more about yoga were the only things I was concerned about.

Now it all comes so naturally, I still have butterflies and nerves about teaching but after I get some experience and practice more I am sure that it will become smoother and more natural.