My 100 Day Project is WRITING! After years of calling myself a writer, I've slowly fallen out of the habit of writing every day. Sometimes I lack inspiration, sometimes my to-do list takes over my day, and sometimes I'm just lazy or distracted . But the reality is that I'm always writing in my head. I have stories, funny conversations, and ideas to share, so it's time to get them out of this brain of mine. I'll be traveling quite a bit throughout these next 100 days, so my posts may not make it online at the time of writing, but I'll make sure they get posted the next possible time I get decent wifi.
In honor of starting this 100 days of writing, I wanted to explore the idea of habits, both building new habits and breaking old habits. I've spent the last week or so at my parents' house, and it's funny (and sort of annoying) how quickly I've slipped back into habits I had at 21, the last summer I really lived here, just by virtue of being in this house. For the past couple of years I've gotten so used to living my life on my own terms that it can be an interesting challenge to try to mix my routine and habits with those of my family. But as a people lover and former sociology major, it's always interesting to observe others' patterns and day-to-day existence.
For me, building new habits isn't that hard; when I want to do something I just do it (eat your heart out, Nike!). I've learned how to motivate myself and that I need to write down whatever it is I want to do in my planner and remind myself why I'm doing it. When I genuinely want something I can usually find a way to make it happen (or at least make whatever part of it is within my control happen) - that's part of being me. It's the breaking habits part that's the real challenge. I easily run on auto-pilot and too often my default activity is something I don't even really want to do, it's just a nasty habit I've picked up along the way that I can't kick. (When pausing between sentences to write this, I find myself clicking on all the other open tabs on my browser, getting distracted by emails and other to-dos, and scrolling mindlessly through Instagram...no reason why, no joy from it, just clicking and scrolling.)
I'm slowly learning to reframe the breaking of habits as building better, positive habits. Instead of stopping something or obsessing over the negative, I'm redirecting that energy or impulse into doing something positive. So rather than breaking the click and scroll habit, I'm building the habit of more focused writing where I allow myself to sit, think, and be when nothing comes to me. I'm giving myself the space and time to write without piling on all the other things I could or should be doing.
I worked in corporate wellness for several years and we used to tell our clients that it takes 28 days to create a habit, so we'd encourage month-long challenges and programs to influence behavior. I'm stoked that this is 100 days, because that means I'll REALLY solidify these new habits, right? The most successful programs we ran included personal motivations and built support and accountability systems with coaching. For these next 99 days, I'm counting on the online community of #The100DayProject participants to keep me motivated and accountable. Here we go!
Our Summer 2017 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Lake Placid, New York is filling up quickly and I couldn't be more excited. It's been amazing talking to the students who are joining, hearing about and sharing their passion for life and yoga, and realizing what an incredible experience this is going to be for everyone. I fell in love with the Adirondacks on a road trip last summer and knew I had to come back and share some of the beautiful energy of the area!
We'll spend three weeks immersed in all things yoga, with days off to hike, paddleboard, swim, be in nature, and reset. AND...If you book by Wednesday, March 15th you get $500 off shared or private room prices and $200 off locals' rate, which means...
For $1,800 you get 3 weeks of yoga, all training materials, and lunches on training days. You leave certified to teach under Yoga Alliance guidelines, and go home with new friends and a fresh outlook on life.
For $3,250 you get the above plus get shared room accommodation and all meals.
For $3,750 you get the above plus private room accommodation and all meals.
Email me with any questions!
I have big things planned for Floating Yoga School for the rest of this year and next year! I just secured a bunch of dates for retreats and teacher trainings around the world, and I can't wait to share them with you.
See below for the full schedule, and message me for more details!
After more than four years of hard work, endless edits, and countless refinements, I'm very happy to announce that my Yoga Teacher Training Manual is for sale as an e-book on Amazon! Here's the link to purchase. (I'm working on iBooks now - stay tuned.)
I use this manual in my Floating Yoga School trainings (and it's free if you join me!), and I'm happy to offer a cobranded manual for your studio if you're interested - email me for details.
So why am I selling it? There is SOOO much to learn about yoga, and you could spend years reading and studying and still feel like you only just scratched the surface. Ever since my own teacher training seven years ago, I've been on the hunt for great yoga resources. There are thousands of incredible books out there, but the scope of choices and subjects is really overwhelming. Most yoga teacher trainings include required readings, and the long list of books you're supposed to buy will end up costing you a fortune and leave you even more confused. I see those lists and all I can think about is my first semester of college, when after standing in line for 20 minutes with a huge stack of books I finally got to the check-out desk of the University Bookstore, was told my total was $400+ for one class, and with sweaty palms had to reluctantly hand over my brand-new debit card. Welcome to adulthood.
I wanted to get away from that feeling and consolidate what I've learned and found to be most helpful as a modern yogi through my 15 years of practicing and 7 years of teaching. The Floating Yoga School approach to 200 hour teacher trainings is to think of yoga like a buffet (I love food). Instead of loading up your plate with a few subjects, we offer a small taste on a wide range of topics. As a participant of a Floating Yoga School Yoga Teacher Training, you leave comfortable and ready to teach a really solid yoga class that fits your personality as a teacher. You learn the basics of history and philosophy, anatomy, meditation, pranayama, chakras, Sanskrit, and Ayurveda. You learn to safely and intelligently sequence a class, how to approach yoga from an ethical business point of view, and how to teach and adjust more than 100 yoga poses (including modifications for injuries and specific populations like prenatal students and kids). You also get an amazing chance to focus on yourself and your long-term goals away from the distractions of everyday life. And that's what this manual is all about: 287 easy-to-follow pages designed to kickstart a lifelong exploration of the lifestyle of yoga.
Check out the manual, whether you're brand new to yoga or are looking to start your own yoga teacher training. I always welcome feedback and will continue to add to it as I continue to evolve my practice and teaching. And if you'd like to join for a training, the next one is Summer 2017 in Lake Placid, New York. Click here for all the details. Our February session starts in just a few days in Caberete, Dominican Republic - I'll be posting lots of behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram, so be sure to follow along :)
The Floating Yoga School 200 hour teacher training is Yoga Alliance approved.
I have to say, I’ve been riding high on a wave of inspiration these past few days. I usually find that I feel more inspired when I’m in nature away from from electronics (thus the sailing life), but I’m always drawn back to Facebook to see what my friends are up to. I love how social media has the ability to connect us, humanize us, and inspire us.
I think more than anything our world needs inspiration, and I truly believe there’s no limit to what we can achieve if we’re able to positively motivate each other. In a world full of frustration and negativity, we need more light and more love to keep us going.
I love that you stand up for what you believe in. To those of you who marched around the world: thank you for peacefully representing and improving our world.
I love seeing photos of your cute kids, hearing how you balance career and home life and still have time to pursue passions, adventures, and community involvement. I love getting a glimpse into the future of our world.
I love learning about the world through your travels and adventures.
I love how you support your friends and community, and how you give so much of yourself unconditionally.
I love that you’re building sustainable, positive businesses that impact so many people.
I love how you hold space for others and are able to share your opinions so eloquently while fostering respectful discussions and discourse.
And I love the day-to-day realness, the permission to just tell it like it is.
My biggest goal is to inspire others to live a life they love. (And that’s been a hard one for me to put out there because it feels like I’m saying “I want this to go viral” – and I know that’s not how it works ) I came out of 2014 completely worn out. Everything in my life was turned upside down. After a really painful divorce, a hard look at who I was and how I was living, I decided that I needed something different and I basically started over. It took two years of work, big decisions and even bigger changes, and I know the work is far from done, but I finally feel inspired again. If I can do it, you can do it.
I’d love for you to share my journey. Watch the videos and share with anyone you think they may resonate with. I won’t refuse financial support (boat life isn’t cheap!), but more than anything I’d appreciate if you’d help me share my Patreon page. https://www.patreon.com/FloatingYogaSchool
Share it with someone in your life who needs a little inspiration. Share it with someone who wants to travel. Share it with someone who loves to sail (or who needs a reminder that even if you don’t sail well you can still buy a boat – I did!). Share it with young women and men who have big dreams. And share it with someone who needs a reminder that even when things seem really bad, you can reinvent yourself and create a life you love.
I’ve always loved the water. Growing up with super hot Houston summers, my sisters and I would spend hours in the pool, playing “rock the boat” and “categories,” perfecting our back dives and flips, diving for coins or anything else that would sink, and trying to beat the heat. Most family vacations revolved around or at least featured water - lakes and rivers when camping, trips to beach towns, sailing my grandfather's boat - and if they didn't, we'd find our way to water somehow.
After college I lived in New York City and didn’t have much water time aside from vacations and when I first moved to San Diego the cool temperature and instant depth of the Pacific Ocean kept me on the beach for awhile. But there was always a part of me that knew I needed to find my way back into its healing arms. It wasn't until I started teaching paddle yoga that I truly reconnected with my carefree, happy inner child and decided I needed to make some changes in my life and refocus it around water.
There’s something romantic and idyllic about living life on the water. I remember seeing boats anchored in the remote and quiet Shark Harbor on Catalina Island and thinking “that’s the life.” At a time when I was busy building a business, navigating the ups and downs of a long term relationship turned new marriage, and trying to figure out how to balance everything, life on a boat seemed like a welcome escape from everyone, a rare sense of peace and simplicity in an overly complicated world.
When my relationship took a turn and I decided to move on without my best friend of 8 years, I was faced with finding a place to live and starting a new life on my own terms. What did I really want? With the opportunity to start fresh and do all the “crazy” things I wouldn’t have considered when I had a partner's needs and wants to take into account, I decided that I wanted to live on a boat.
I briefly looked at renting or taking care of someone’s boat, but without a lot of experience as a captain or crew, I wasn’t super desirable to anyone and didn’t know the right channels to find a boat owner looking for someone to watch their boat. It turns out the easiest, albeit more expensive, way of living on a boat was to buy one and call it my own.
I had some money in savings and started the search. (More on the boat buying process including getting a loan, where to find a boat, etc. in another post.) I found an older 32 foot Islander within my budget and the minute I stepped foot on it and saw its funky magenta cushions, striped curtains, and full teak lined interior, I knew it would be home. I named her Barefoot Adventures and she became my floating condo for the next year.
Fast forward a few months and it became clear to me that life as a liveaboard was pretty sweet, but that I wanted to use my boat for more than just day sails and play dates. I wanted to sail into different ports, explore different places, and experience different ways of life. I wanted to combine my love of travel, my desire to be on the water, and my passion for sharing yoga; thus Floating Yoga School was created.
Barefoot Adventures #1 just wasn't going to cut it in the Caribbean, so I sold her and started the search for #2. This time around, I wanted something bigger and somewhat newer that could handle island-hopping and some large crossings, something with enough power and electronics to feel safe in unknown waters and rough seas, and something that I could customize enough to feel like home for the next few years without breaking the bank. I found a 40 foot O'Day in Miami that fit the bill and have been living and working on her ever since.
Life as a liveaboard is certainly not for everyone. Depending on your set-up it can feel like permanent camping (or maybe glamping if you're lucky!). There are ALWAYS projects to be done on a boat and usually those projects require money, sweat, and hard work. It can be frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming if you're not an expert in all things electrical, mechanical, and nautical.
But despite all that, it's really rewarding. To me it feels like going back to a simpler way of life. People have lived and worked on boats for hundreds of years, crossing oceans and seeing the world, and it's exciting to think about everything I get to experience that I would have otherwise never even known was out there.
I’ll be breaking down the various aspects of living aboard in the coming months, from the freedom it brings to challenges that come along with it. For now it's back to the project list :) Stay tuned!
If you've been wanting to do a yoga teacher training but can't can't quite make the numbers work with your budget (we get it!), now's your chance to follow your dreams with our Yoga Teacher Training Scholarship Writing & Video Contest.
We're giving away at least one spot in each training we do in the Caribbean (read the fine print here), and can't wait to read or watch why you should be the one to join us.
All you have to do is submit your entry fee and send us your written or video submission. Tell us your story: what sets you apart, what you'll get from a yoga teacher training, how you'll give back, or anything else you'd like us to know.
Share with friends! The more submissions we receive, the more scholarships we can award. Email with any questions.
I had the pleasure and honor of recording a Dreamchasers podcast with Lucas Barra a couple of weeks ago.
Lucas and I have known each other for a few years, and he’s seen me grow from a new yoga teacher about to quit her day job, into a business owner launching another venture in a brand new place. He was fresh out of college when we first met, and now he’s living his dream by helping others chase theirs. Pretty awesome.
We talked for a good 45 minutes about my journey and process of finding balance, learning to say no, crying in the shower, and the general rollercoaster of life. For all the juicy bits, listen here.
While your own dreams may be way different than my own, the universal chase of the dream is something most everyone can relate to. Lucas has different guests every week, so stay tuned!
SchoolofDreams.co and iTunes.
Helen's Adventures as a Traveling Yogi
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