Tag Archives: fitness instructor

You Set the Tone

The ending of 2015 and start of 2016 signified two awesome firsts for me: Teaching yoga on New Years Eve and starting off the New Year by working out.

On New Year’s Eve I had the privilege of teaching two yoga classes at One Down Dog in Silverlake. In the [almost] 4 years that I have been teaching group fitness I have always taught early morning classes but never in the evening. Much to my surprise, my classes were busy with eager yogi’s ready to ring in the New Year. These NYE yogi’s were something special. As a matter of fact the classes were just different all together. There was a lightness and jovial festivity to the tone that filled the room. The levity was contagious. People even smiled when I reoriented class so that we could practice in a circle. People made eye contact with others in class, people connected, people laughed. It was beautiful to witness, share in, and be part of. Sending off the year in some detoxifying and energizing yoga was just the way to bid adieu to 2015.

New Year’s Day, a day of continued indulgence and extension of the night before while getting in some serious TV time, spent lamenting the end of the holiday season as we start to remember that inevitably we will all have to go back to work [sigh]. Preemptively, the husband and I decided that we were going to do something we have never done on New Year’s Day: workout. We’d naturally eat and lay on the couch later. So, on December 31st, we signed up for a 10:45am workout at Orangetheory Fitness West Hollywood to hold ourselves accountable.

9am, the alarm went off. We turned it off, and went back to sleep. 9:45am, I wake my husband and we have a chat debating whether or not to go because ‘wouldn’t it be so nice to sleep in and lay in bed all day?’ 10:15am, we get dressed and head out the door because this workout sets the tone for 2016.

unnamedHigh from the endorphins coursing through our bodies, we left the studio chilled in sweat, proud that we rallied and committed to ourselves. I felt strong and alive and thought to myself, Now that’s how you make shit happen—not by saying it, not by thinking it, not by wanting it, but by doing it.’

2016 is my Year of Yes. I am through with the excuses and done wishing. Nothing I want in this life is going to appear by falling into my lap. Anything worth having requires that I put in the effort. Yes to me. Yes to my capabilities. And yes to my heart’s desires.

What are you saying yes to in 2016?

Choose Kindness This Holiday Season

As we embark upon our time with friends and loved ones for the holidays, being present and kind is paramount. Sometimes we forget that when we are around people we love and are comfortable, things fly out of our mouths without much regard for the person to whom we are addressing. As someone who’s constantly in front of other people, presenting, interacting, connecting, and building relationships, I am front and center for constant critique of my attire and appearance. As someone with brightly colored hair, the misconception is I ‘must be cool’ [which if you know anything about me, I am super Type A, totally tightly wound, and the furthest thing from cool] therefore; this an invitation for unsolicited commentary along the lines of:

“Oh, you changed your hair.”

[Nope, it’s still the same purple its been for the last 3 years]

“I like [or don’t like] this shade.”

[Awesome, I wasn’t trying to make you happy]

“I like how your hair is fading.”

[I don’t]

“Oh, you’ve gotta dye your hair again, it’s fading.”

[As if I didn’t know]

“You have roots, when are you getting your hair done?”

[When I have time and can afford it]

The fade is serious here and the struggle is very real
At this point it’s become rather funny. For the life of me, I cannot figure out people’s incessant need to talk about my hair. I guess people find me interesting, I don’t know. But what I do know is when my hair has been any other array of colors, I never received the kind of feedback people feel the need to constantly offer with my purple hair. And while I take it in good stride, I know that as a result of my work in fitness, friendly nature, and intimate proximity with people, that feel safe and comfortable with me. Ultimately, as a result, they perceive their discussion of my appearance as innocent. But let me point out, when people comment about my hair I know ALL of those things, people. I know my hair is fading, I know I have roots, and I am well aware that my hair is a bright purple. What I am perplexed by is this shift in society to openly pick people apart and comment on their appearance.

Freshly dyed and feeling so alive
Recently after teaching one of my cycling classes, an employee of the gym observed,

“Dammmmmnnn, I never realized how thick your legs were!”

Immediately, my freak out meter was about to explode; my heart is pounding, and I can feel my face reddening. While I know his comment was not malicious and followed up with this person wanting to put muscle on his legs, my own insecurities regarding my physical-self felt very exposed.

unnamed-3I’ve put on some weight recently. And no, not because it’s the holidays and I’m stuffing my face with cake and cookies. And no, not because I am skipping my workouts—I have just gained weight and yes, it’s noticeable [and no, I’m not pregnant]. It’s noticeable in my yoga pants, in my belly, and in my face. I feel disgusting and like I am crawling within my own skin. So when a seemingly innocent comment about my body is made, I feel grossly insecure and even more down on myself.

Though my brightly colored hair and evolving physique is my own unique story with respects to how some people in this world interact, my goal in sharing this with you is to hopefully facilitate some compassion.

So your cousin hasn’t lost her baby weight. Your grandmother’s new haircut is atrocious. Your mom’s food isn’t really that good. Your niece’s new tattoo is ugly.

So what?

As long as the people you’re spending your holiday season with are people that fill your heart and bring you joy during this holiday season, why not just be nice? Keep your comments to yourself and remember; words have power, so choose kindness.

Instead, look for something positive in the people you’re spending your time with; maybe tell them how lovely they look, how beautiful the decorations in their home are, and even better—how grateful you are to have them in your life and to be spending time with them.

Free Kindness for Everyone!

#30DaysofThankful with #TheGirlWithPurpleHair

Day 10: I am grateful for the Goddess in the Parking Garage

I am not going to bother discussing at length that there is a lapse in writing my Thirty Days of Thankful Challenge. But what I will say is the following: Grades are due at school. I will catch up. And grades are due.

Moving on.

While attempting to leave Equinox this evening, I locked my keys in the trunk of my car. Remarkably, I just said an expected “Shit, are you kidding me?!” But I didn’t fume. Hell, my heart rate didn’t even change. I’m telling you that after teaching children all day, teaching a cycling class, AND then taking yoga that I locked my keys in my car and I wasn’t even mad about it?! YUP.

I suppose one could chalk up my calmer disposition to the post yoga blissful high [ohmygawd, I see the most amazing colors in my savasana, but I digress] or maturity; but whatever it was, I didn’t even react to the situation. Simply, I calmly walked over to the valet and explained the situation. I inquired if I could pay for my parking and get a new ticket so I wouldn’t have to pay for the time I waited for AAA (Triple A) to rescue me. The nice woman working the desk made a note on my parking ticket and said it wouldn’t be an issue. We made small chit chat about silly things we have done and that was that. She allowed me to use their phone since I didn’t have cell service in the parking structure and within 15 minutes AAA arrived.

In 3 deft moves, my car was unlocked and I was headed home when the woman who signed my parking ticket showed up at the exit and said, “I’m just going to let you go this time, have a nice evening.” I was floored by the woman’s kindness. As it was, regardless of my car drama I was over on time and would have needed to pay but that didn’t matter; she met me with kindness anyway. While I didn’t even get the nice woman’s name and I am not even sure that I will ever see her again; I am reminded from our brief interlude that it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to stranger. I am looking forward to being able pay it forward because to be kind to someone else is the greatest gift one could give.

Live Your Truth

#30DaysofThankful with #TheGirlWithPurpleHair

Day 7: I am grateful for being able to lead, guide, teach, and grow others

I’ve been teaching group fitness for 3 ½ years. I have taught countless yoga and cycling classes, trained clients, and attended an innumerable amount of workshops and continuing education. And somehow in all this time not once have I ever been so inclined to actually lead a workshop all my own. People have urged me to lead a workshop, but really I was never inspired to actually lead one myself. I guess I shouldn’t say that I wasn’t inspired, rather so much as I was more insecure in what I could really offer participants looking to learn from me. Nevertheless, this all changed when I led a unique “wall class” when I was subbing at my studio and attendance was lighter.

Sweat Unleashed flyer AMCAfter class, two of my regular students [I hate calling them students because so many of them become my dear friends and these two souls are my friends] remarked how distinctive the format was and that I should turn it into a workshop. And such, with my confidence and faith in myself revived, Sweat Unleashed was born.

Sweat Unleashed, a 2-hour workout that fused intense handstand work and preparation on the wall to build strength and confidence; along side fun and funky arm balances and transitions. I wanted to share something more with participants that just teaching poses in isolation. One of my goals was to empower people to walk away with the capacity to transition in and out of more advanced asana (poses) during flows in class, I wanted to people to really take what we learning in my workshop back to their mat while practicing.

My message was clear, “Live your truth and live with intention. We are so much more than what the world sees, so do you, be you, and live your truth.”

Simply put, the workshop was amazing. We had almost 20 people show up on a Saturday night to challenge themselves in unimaginable ways. Participants wrote about themselves, reflected on quotes they were given, made new friends, worked with partners, and left with a whole bunch of deliciously challenging new things to incorporate into their practice.

unnamed-2In turn, I left the workshop proud of myself for putting myself out there and grateful I was able to share something I love with so many people. I was humbled and honored to be considered ‘the expert’ as I showed the group my favorite arm balances and strengthening exercises to make them stronger inside and out. Additionally, the love and support of my best friend Rachel, my husband Greg, and all of my regular students really helped foster my confidence to move forward with Sweat Unleashed.

And like I asked of participants in class to Live Their Truth, by leading this workshop and spreading nuggets of my perspective when it comes to yoga, fitness, and confidence; I too am Living My Truth. Just like my students learn from me, each and everyday I too learn from them. It was truly an amazing experience and I cannot wait to plan another workshop! See? You never know who will come into your life and push you towards greatness. With an open heart and an open mind the possibilities ARE endless!

Struggle Makes You Stronger

It doesn’t matter how you slice it, dice it, package it, or present it; rejection in any capacity hurts. Unfortunately, a by-product of going after things in life is being told no or that you’re not good enough and in the end one just has to be resilient in coping when things don’t work out as anticipated.

Specifically, I discussed a little while back that I was auditioning for a slot to be invited to coach at the new Orangetheory Fitness opening in West Hollywood. As you all know, OTF is my favorite way to sweat. So when I was invited to audition for the new studio I was giddy and ready to show my stuff. Leading up to the audition, I studied the script for days. I recorded myself reading it and walked around town running errands listening to myself. I played it while in my car driving. I forced my sister Kassi to Facetime with me and listen to me practice. I spent the 2 days before the audition presenting the script aloud to myself while alone in my apartment.

I psyched myself up telling myself I can do this over and over and over again.

I watched and listened to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules to Success.

I did everything within my power to ensure I set myself up for success so when I walked into that room, they’d have no choice but to offer me a space in the training program.

Turns out when Greg and I arrived for the audition there were over 40 people there. No one told us we’d actually be taking a portion of a class led by one of the trainers and we were freshly showered but oh well—ain’t no thang.

The workout ended and we broke ourselves into groups of 5. The group audition consisted of 3-minutes on the mic walking participants through the beginning of an OTF class. Out of the 5 people in our group, I can say with confidence that Greg and I put on the best show for the team evaluating us. We got through the entire script, infused our own unique energy, and were able to hit all the necessary numbers i.e. 22-26 strokes per minute on the rower to warm up. Personally, I think Greg and I crushed it. By no means did I assume the job was necessarily ours but I walked away from the experience knowing we did a killer job and was proud. Needless to say when the rejection emails came, we were shocked and disappointed.

A glimpse into last week’s Sunday Sweat class at One Down Dog

Greg was informed that he placed in the top 10 of the 40+ people and I was told I placed 8th. We were given some great kudos regarding our audition but no real feedback as to why we didn’t make the final cut. The initial sting of rejection hurt. But as time ebbed on, I started to really think about who I am and what I offer as an instructor. I concluded that I am a badass. Going into this, I vowed I wouldn’t let my self-worth be associated with getting or not getting this job and I am thrilled to report I haven’t let myself get caught up in the negativity of not getting something I wanted. No one can define my self-worth but me, period. So I didn’t get the job and that is a major bummer, as I would have loved more than anything to represent Orangetheory Fitness. However I remembered that I teach yoga and cycling in LA to throngs of people who come to a workout that I design for them with a carefully orchestrated playlist. I stand in the humility of the work I do and the honor to teach for such incredible people. I am truly blessed and thankful for all of the beautiful souls who continue to show up and trust me with their workouts.

Furthermore, I know that I am capable of boundless things because I believe in myself. Even though I may not always come out on top, I won’t stop continually putting myself out there. I do not regret for a second gambling on myself, for if you never try and take a chance, you’ll never know.

Take a risk and take a chance on you.

You are worth it.

Every attempt to be great prepares you for greatness. Dream big and never quit on yourself even when it seems others may not see your power.FullSizeRender

Work Your Butt Off!

Day 5/6—Work Your Butt Off!

Nothing and I mean nothing in my life has ever been easy for me. Everything I have, everything I have achieved, every success I have tasted has been due to gritting my teeth, rolling up my sleeves and digging into do the dirty work. Without hesitation, without thinking something wasn’t possible I know that with hard work anything and everything is possible.

When I decided I wanted to be a fitness instructor I didn’t know anyone in the industry. I knew I wanted to be a fitness instructor and that was enough. I was just going to have to make it happen. I took my first fitness certification course with Mad Dogg in Spinning in July 2012. I was mesmerized by the podium and fantasized about being up there. Shortly after my Spinning training, I had my first cycling audition in West Hollywood at Cycle House. While I know I didn’t tank the audition, I also know I didn’t crush it because I didn’t get the job. But not getting the job didn’t really seem to bother me because the feeling I got while on the instructor bike—the exhilaration, the sweat, the power, the ability to inspire, had me hooked like a drug. I didn’t feel defeated by not getting the Cycle House job but couldn’t wait to get back up on that instructor bike and do it again.

My second audition was for LA Fitness [Hey, we all gotta start somewhere]. I left my middle school teaching job early to drive ALL the way across town to audition for a shot to snag some indoor cycling classes. I showed up and walked into the cycling room to see bikes I have never seen before or ridden on. These were Keiser bikes [barf]. Slight panic set in. Hoping Monica, the woman auditioning me would be compassionate to my cause, I let her know that this was my first time riding a Keiser bike. The audition was quick, not even a full song in total length. Monica gave me some pointers about my RPM’s then glanced down at my resume and paused. She looked up and matter-of-factly stated, “Oh, you teach yoga.”

“Oh no, no. I don’t teach yoga. I take yoga” I divulged.

“Well, could you teach yoga?” Monica inquired.

Without hesitation, I mustered my confidence and said, “I mean, I’m a teacher, I guess I can teach anything…?”

Right then and there without ever having actually taught yoga, Monica had me take her through a flow. Two minutes later I was hired to teach 1 cycling class and 2 yoga classes a week for $15 a class.

I was so ecstatic a gym hired me and that I had THREE CLASSES too! I didn’t stop to think that there was anything wrong with my pay rate—I was now officially a fitness instructor!

My tenure at LA Fitness was transformative. I really honed my craft, found my voice, and met some amazing people that are still dear friends in my life. As my hunger for teaching fitness seemed insatiable, I started auditioning at boutique studios and larger, more reputable gyms. Concurrently, I started teaching at a small studio in Redondo Beach called Studio Pulse and was also on the schedule at Spectrum Athletic Clubs in the South Bay and Redondo Beach. However, as my classes filled at LA Fitness and I eventually earned my 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification, I wanted my pay to reflect my certifications and packed classes. Besides, I was making way more than that elsewhere but I was loyal to my membership following and felt indebted to LA Fitness because it was where I started. I held out a while. The timing didn’t feel right. So while living in Hollywood and still teaching middle school English full time, I took every single fitness job I was offered—no matter the distance. At one time I was teaching in Redondo 2x a week, South Bay, Westwood, AND Studio City [and that’s not counting when I subbed classes too!]. Needless to say, I put a ton of miles on my car. However, I knew that in order to get to the top, you’ve got to start at the bottom. Finally, I knew the time came to leave LA Fitness when I met Jessica Rosen, the owner and founder of One Down Dog (affectionately referred to as ODD) in Silverlake. She took my yoga class and hired me on the spot. I was going to be a real yoga instructor in a real studio! I think having someone believe in the work that I was doing gave me the confidence to finally walk away from LA Fitness. Nevertheless LA Fitness refused to give me a pay raise and with One Down Dog, I put in my two weeks notice.

As One Down Dog worked to gain its footing in those early months, it was hard work but never felt like ‘work’. Jessica was starting a new studio. We were building a following, handing out flyers, and hustling to make ODD happen. For whatever reason, it just felt so right. With so many moving parts and the new studio, I still busted my butt to the beach cities multiple times a week to teach indoor cycling. I knew that the more I taught, the more people I was in front of, the better I got. With every class and every playlist I was gearing up to muster the courage to audition for the big guns. The gym of all gyms: Equinox. I knew that when I went to audition for Equinox I wanted to blow it out of the water. I knew I wanted them to want me and that meant I had to be awesome.

Turned out Equinox was getting ready to open Encino and they had a hiring day in Downtown LA. I was invited to attend the audition and told I would hear more about it later in the week. Later in the week came and went and I didn’t hear anything. But my friend who attended the hiring fair did hear back. Fortunately for me since she told me where the audition was being held, I decided to crash it. I thought the worst-case scenario was that I didn’t get to ride and the best case was that I got to audition and show my stuff. I did indeed get to ride and I felt think things went really well. I was confident that I nailed it.

Well I didn’t.

I felt a huge sense of disappointment and wanted to know where I could improve, but that was that. I wasn’t going to be an Equinox instructor.

Then by a stroke of luck about 2 weeks later I landed another Equinox audition via another cycling instructor friend. This time, after the audition I was welcomed to the Equinox Family as a sub.

It has been almost 3 years since I walked out of Equinox South Bay as a sub. I am proud to report I have had various classes at Equinox clubs all over LA and still actively sub all over town when needed. Now I call Equinox Glendale and Downtown my homes with regular classes. The magic of my work and my journey to Equinox are never far from my thoughts. And just because I achieved what I set out to do doesn’t mean I don’t stop striving for excellence. The real work has only just begun because when you’re not working to be the best—someone out there IS working to beat you.

Always, put in hard, hard, hard work and work your butt off!


wildthingFor the month of July I have been participating in an Instagram backbend yoga challenge. In the 3 years that I have been teaching yoga, never once have I participated in one of these yoga challenges. Actually, I think there was a time maybe wayyyyyyy back that I attempted one and after 2 days I lost the steam. Maybe it wasn’t the right challenge for me. But really I chalk it up to a few things as to why up until very recently I rarely posted pictures of me in yoga poses or committed to an online yoga challenge. Yoga and fitness is a very ‘look at me’ kind of industry. I try not to play into the yoga instructor stereotypes of being scantily clad in inaccessible yoga poses for the masses to gawk at. Frankly, I think it sends a bad message to the masses. I think what the yoga and fitness industry has done to sell its self is disgusting. These industries prostitute themselves in an effort to sell a product whether it be protein powder, a studio, a clothing line—whatever, by using sex to lure in buyers by making yoga now a sexy thing. Basically, they are SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE.

11755233_10100762894859621_5240393937280972723_nYoga is about love and equity. Yoga is about hitting your mat and delving closer and closer to your essential-self. Yoga is about non-attachment and never competing with anyone, and that also includes yourself. And finally, yoga loves and welcomes everyone regardless of size, sex, race, sexual orientation, or class. Yoga is blind; it embraces us and loves us, even when we can’t love ourselves. So why are these yoga challenges and half-naked yogis so dangerous?

They don’t tell us or even guide us to look inward. They are 1-dimensional, showing us how yoga should look: white, skinny, and if you don’t have a handstand, well then you aren’t a yogi. At least, that’s what I take away from all of this. As a yoga instructor, I know a few things about the human body and one of them is that there are some people genetically blessed with hyper-mobility. Yogi’s in splits, backbending, arms back behind their heads, clasping their foot. Yeah, that will NEVER be me. Aside from a host of injuries, my body doesn’t move that way. Hell, I am a yoga instructor and my body doesn’t move a lot of ways. And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that because this body can move in a lot of other ways as it runs, jumps, squats, punches, and is SO strong that I wouldn’t trade it in for a backbend. In that same accord, the science and statistics note that hyper-mobile yogis ARE wired differently muscularly AND they are prone to injury more than their less-mobile counterparts. YES, the super bendy get hurt more often as a result of pushing too hard and too far, and often may skip warming up because their bodies make challenging asana (poses) easier, or more accessible.


That said, I don’t hate these people per say. The genetically blessed, the actors and models turned fitness instructors, the dancers, and me: The short, muscular, ethnically ambiguous unyoga yogi with purple hair and a fiery spirit. Together we all comprise this industry and there is room for everyone to shine in their own right. So I caved and I decided that it was time to participate in a yoga challenge but do so on my own terms. I was going to use this challenge as a way to unveil how yoga looks when real people do it and what happens when real people can’t do crazy shit on their hands or twist into a pretzel. I wanted to start carving out a niche for all the people with real bodies to be welcomed, embraced, and thrive. I wanted to show the world that yoga IS blind. I combated my demons and I choose to shoot my yoga challenge without a shirt on, in my sports bra. If the tall and lean can do it—why can’t I? Why shouldn’t I? Should I care that my belly is a little soft? Should I worry what others will think if I can’t do a pose because I’m a yoga instructor? I decided to say screw it all and strip myself down to tear down borders and barriers to pave the way for others:

Be yourself, love yourself, and stop giving a shit what others think about you.

11659456_10100755511974981_6370464093040561674_nTaking off my shirt has taught me so much more than I anticipated. First, it certainly has helped me hate myself less because I have started to embrace my body. Who would have thought that taking off my clothes for thousands of people to see would do that?!—but it did. Taking off my shirt is liberating and a way for me to make a statement that real bodies are not going to fade into the backdrop of celebrity fitness personalities because someone else says so. Yoga is about reclaiming your emotions and life while serving others. This yoga challenge, with my belly exposed is my first stab at The Body Movement: real bodies, real fitness, real people, real stories.

I refuse to hide my body from the world. I have worked too damn hard, had too many injuries, too many knee surgeries, and sweat through countless classes and trainings to let someone else tell me how to define my yoga practice and dictate whether my body is undesirable. This yoga challenging is where I take back the power. This yoga challenge is where I show the world that strong IS sexy and yoga is for everybody. Join me. Start baring it all—take your shirt off and join me #TheBodyMovement #DaretoBareitAll #TakeoffYOURshirt. Are you in, or are you in?

Find me on Instragram at arielle_miller, it’s time to start #TheBodyMovement self-love revolution and celebrate all bodies!

hand to foot

Go and Be Impressive

Settling back into real life and a routine since the wedding has been challenging. My eating and nutrition have been unrestrained and getting in regular workouts with errands and such just hasn’t happened. I’ve been feeling sluggish and out of shape. It’s amazing at how fast that happens, right? While working out today I felt tired but kept pushing. Despite the fact that today’s effort wasn’t my best display of athleticism, it certainly was the best I had in me in those very moments and that’s what really matters—being the best version of ourselves in the present moment.

My runs felt heavy but I kept pushing. I kept thinking to myself that I did this to myself and I can undo this to myself because I am strong and have the power to do it. Running, rowing, running, rowing. My arms no longer felt attached to my body. I battled to pump my arms while on the treadmill and sometimes I even had to straighten them out and whip them around myself because they were so fatigued from the rower. But I kept going. I was tired; no, I was exhausted but I kept going. And then I looked to my right. The guy next to me was losing steam. Normally, when I am working out for me, I turn off the Fitness Instructor so I can be present for me. But I don’t know, today it felt right and something in his face made me to turn to him and offer him simple words, “C’mon, you’ve got this.” I know all too well that a little encouragement can go a long way when you are down and out, so I figured; why not?

The man didn’t seem to hear me because he didn’t respond. I contemplated saying it again or something else but I didn’t. I redirected my energies to my legs that were seemingly still attached to my body and propelling themselves forward on the treadmill. Finally, the workout ended. The same man I ran next to came up to me after class and said “Thank you, I really needed that.” We chatted briefly and he told me he thought I was ‘so impressive’ and that he couldn’t keep up with my speed. He shared that he was inspired by my hard work and that my kind words in class helped him finish the workout.

Impressive, eh? Someone thought I was impressive?! And here it turns out that in order to be considered impressive all I had to do was be me and show a little compassion.

Go be you today. Go be friggen impressive and look over to a stranger tonight in class [yes, even in yoga] or anywhere, and tell them something nice and encouraging.

When Love Just Happens, Part II

As promised, here are my vows to my beloved Gregory. Before posting this, like yesterday, Greg and I re-read our vows to one another. Both times we were emotional and found ourselves in tears. By sharing our love with the world we hope to celebrate all love and spread love. As Greg is my light, I truly hope that we could be the light for others…

Arielle to Greg 6/20/15:

Who would have thought that I would have had to come all the way to Los Angeles to meet and marry a Long Island Jewish boy?!

Greg, just one week into our fledgling romance I knew that you were the man I would spend the rest of my life with.

The instant I left that fateful cycling class, I was smitten—from the way you bob your head when you ride, to your [mostly] impeccable taste in music, your ridiculously infectious personality made you irresistible. Your ability to inspire each and every person with whom you come into contact continually leaves me awestruck.

What is more, I never thought I would find someone who shared the same love of remixes, mash-ups, and indoor cycling the way I did.

Greg, your gift to wake up everyday with a giant smile on your face warms my heart. It still doesn’t make getting up in the morning any easier, but it sure sweetens the whole experience.

You make me a better person.

You make me want to be the best at everything I tackle to honor you…to honor us. Our partnership and union is a reflection of our love. How we conduct ourselves together and while teaching our classes or working, to me is still an extension of our devotion. I promise to always honor us and the passionate, fiery, dedication that you bring to our marriage in all that I do.

I promise to start hanging my clothes up instead of piling them next to my side of the bed. I promise to fold our laundry and put it away in under a week’s time. And lastly, I cannot promise I will do the dishes, but what I can promise is that with each passing day, I do and will continue to fall deeper and deeper in love with you.

Greg, you are my heart and the essence of my spirit. You build me up and ground me while I try to fumble through this world. You are my light. A beacon shining bright, worthy of admiration and respect. I promise to honor you and in the process, I will try to be less cranky when I am waking up in the mornings or when I am hangry.

Now we no longer fumble through this world alone, but we blaze a path, standing side-by-side, leaving an indelible mark upon this world, igniting embers of hope, passion, and inspiration for others.

Thank you for picking me, Greg. For when I am with you, I am part of you and I am privileged to be the woman who stands beside you and gets to wash your sweaty fitness clothes. I love you eternally and will forever cherish you and above all, us.

Teacher Feature; Let the Sharing Continue

With so many exciting and awesome things happening this month and this week with my birthday AND wedding; I want to make absolutely certain nothing gets overlooked!

This month at yoga studio where I teach, I am the featured instructor in what we call the #ODDlight. In conjunction with the awesome team at One Down Dog we crafted something where you can learn little known facts about me, what attracted me to yoga, and even check out a baby pic [get your awwwww’s ready]!

Here is a little teaser from the One Down Dog blog:

Why do you teach? What brought you to become an instructor?
I teach yoga to heal and empower others. I teach yoga to share its gifts, joys, and empower others to look inward without fear. I teach yoga because I believe this sacred kind of magic needs to be treated with care and deserves to be upheld in the most noble of ways. I teach because without yoga, I do not know where I would be today.

Yoga found me and saved me from myself. I was depressed, very, very, very depressed and I was angry. I blamed the world for slighting me and being out to get me. I was urged to take yoga classes by my doctor and I fought it. I refused to go under the misguided perception that I’d be sitting on a dirty floor, chanting shit that meant nothing to me, and that just didn’t resonate with me. I am very Type A, always moving and I thought yoga was going to be hell on earth so NO THANK YOU.

And then one day, I just went to yoga. As simple as that, I went to yoga.

I woke up and said, “Today, I am going to try yoga.” From the minute I walked into the studio, I relished the ritual of taking off my shoes, carefully unrolling my mat, and how the yoga made me feel. There was this instantaneous deep connection with my feminism and beauty. This outward expression of moving my body made me feel strong, celebrated, and above all beautiful. Yoga made me feel like I was the only person in the room and that I was of boundless strength. As my practice started to evolve, the initial attraction of yoga’s athleticism progressed into something so much larger than myself filled with trainings, Sanskrit, and even chanting. My body yearned [and still does] for this ancient traditional practice and I was hooked. In darkness, yoga showed me the light but more importantly yoga built me up to find the light—Yoga showed me that I was the light.

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