Up Mount

+ I needed to get away. Fresh air. Dazzling powder. The mountains were hollering at me.
+ I went.
+ The sun was ablaze. Temperature mild. Only wearing my grey sweatshirt, but I felt like beaming light.
+ A bird flew and landed on my beckoning hand. Lingering for a second. Before taking flight once more.
+ I danced. Mountains watched.
+ We hiked on pedestrian carved trails. Legs sank deep into the powder.
+ Snow was used as a hydration technique. I was thirsty. I was thirsty.
+ I waved at my dog friends. Hello, friends, nice to see you today.
+ After awhile, the sun began to softly fall. It seemed to pick up momentum. I knew my time with the rock giants was dwindling.
+ I didn’t want to go.
+ But I went.
+ Back down the mountain. Back to the sea.

Hot Hot Hot! Yoga Practice

+ Yoga, for me, has been incredibly enticing for many years, but I have always had a problem of sticking with it for more than a few solid weeks at a time. Until now. A new hot yoga studio recently opened in the town I currently reside.

+ I had never tried a hot yoga class before checking out this new studio. To begin, I took two warm flow classes [temp set to 85F] and instantly, I was hooked. On the third day of my practice, I decided to test my strength endurance and headed into a hot vinyasa class [temp 95F]. I was 100% wrecked when I walked out. BUT, I ALSO FELT ON TOP.

+ I’ve kept going. Everyday. *[except for a couple days that I was out of town]

+ I’m now noticing changes in my body. I feel leaner and most certainly have gained a bit of strength. Poses that I could barely hold in the beginning classes, I can now hold with ease and stamina. I’ve been sleeping better. I feel more calm and clear-headed through the day-to-day.

Hot yoga has incredible benefits:
+ Promotes sweating, heats up the body for increased flexibility & less risk of injury
+ With repetitive asanas & flows, you can compare your strength, stamina, & flexibility to previous practices
+ The heat increases your pulse rate and metabolism, increases blood flow and circulation & burns more calories
+ Improves the lymphatic system by flushing out toxins
+ Relieves stress & provides an endorphin rush

While all of this is good & well, I do have a couple precautions before you step into your first hot flow:
+ Pre-hydrate: Super important. I’ve had a few instances during the hot vinyasa classes where I’ve become light-headed, nauseous, and my vision has began to fade out. This happens when I haven’t properly hydrated in the time before the class.
+ Eating: Don’t eat to much or too little prior to class. A piece of hydrating fruit usually does the trick.
+ Listen to your body: Adjust & modify the practice to suit you. Don’t overexert, but still challenge yourself. When all else fails, don’t be afraid of the resting positions [child’s pose, downward dog, melting heart, etc.]

Last night, for the first time ever trying ‘bird of paradise’ pose, I stepped right up into it, and lifted and straightened my leg. I didn’t know I was capable of doing such a pose with ease, but my body granted me beautiful permission. NOW, I’m off to another hot vinyasa flow for the evening. Take care, friends, cheers!

Let’s Talk About BODY HAIR

+ Resetting my life on the west coast has given me the freedom to rethink and reevaluate things that may or may not be serving me. So, let’s talk about it: body hair. There is a never ending stigma revolving around feminine body hair.

+ I was maybe in the 5th grade when I remember begging my mom to let me shave my legs. I mean, come on little Laur-dude! I was so young and hair removal was already engrained in my psyche and I was already sucked into the social norm. I barely had any hair to remove in the first place, but I was indignant to get it off, pronto. I continued to be extravagantly diligent throughout my young adult years, to keep my body in a pristine, hairless condition.

+ Culture tells women to shave, wax, bleach, and groom to the extreme. I am in no way saying that hair removal is bad! If you enjoy it [and I definitely have in the past], and if it makes you feel glorious and fierce, please keep on doin’ you!

+ Just please, [honey] make sure you are doing it for you and not because a partner or otherwise makes you feel “unkept”, “messy”, “unhygienic”, or as if you are “letting yourself go” [eye roll]. I’ve heard all of these statements directed at feminine body hair, as well as “dirty boy armpits” [ugh ugh ugh]. Letting a body be in it’s natural state does not make it unhygienic or unkept. This is simply the double standard placed upon women.

+ While living in Minneapolis, I had started to let my body hair grow out every once in a while. I found that I was overwhelmingly self conscious of anyone viewing me with noticeable body hair. I was caught in between the yearning for hairy freedom and not having the ability to liberate myself from my razor’s steel glare and magnetic pull.

+ There is such a bigger picture in the world; there isn’t just one way to do things. People are becoming a lot more liberal with their body hair, they are allowing it to just be!

+ I’ve ditched the razor for a few months now and have been feeling like a truly natural, feminine being. I’ve shifted my entire perception from the social norm and am digging chilling out in this new chapter of body positivity. It certainly helps that I’ve been surrounded by powerful feminine influences, who are dripping in self-realization and have helped me see myself in a different light.

+ So this is what I leave you with; question everything. Question what may or may not be serving you. Question society. Question social norms. Question the products that you buy. Question what your consumer dollars are supporting. Start to understand who you are instead of what society has molded you to be. Break out of that mold.

+ Disclaimer: I am in no way telling anyone what they should or should not do with their bodies. The beautiful thing about life is that we have the power to choose what works for us individually. If a human enjoys the absence of body hair, groom away! And if you feel like indulging yourself in hairy glory, by all means, live your truth!

+ Want me to elaborate on this topic? Leave me a little note & I’ll certainly write more essays like this one. Also too, please remember that I love ya. Cheers all, xo.