Loving life with nature, beauty and yoga's wisdom.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bending into a Color Block

Fashionistas call the last days of summer the transition season, growing up I remember my Dad calling it an Indian summer, I call it sad... I'll admit, I'm a sensitive one. Especially when it comes to letting go of warm weather, admiring flowers on nearly every street corner and spending endless hours outside.

As each day that passes becomes noticeably shorter, I rely on being grateful for all the rich experiences this summer had to offer to ease my sadness as I mourn the dying sun. In the meantime I'm holding on the best I can to the sun's warm embrace.

Top www.zara.com jewelry gifted from India

Tights www.lailarowe.com shades www.forever21.com

Sandals www.ninewest.com

As we move into Fall's advent, the Fall Equinox, this coming Saturday. I will follow Mother Earth's cue and move forward like a leaf that's sitting on a branch and just beginning to change in color.

As a result I'm investigating forward bending for my early fall yoga posture practice and I'm more frequently adding the color block trend into my style. It is a cheerful look that doesn't seem to be going away here in New York City. I love experimenting with it as it gets me stretch my wardrobe in combinations that I would normally steer away from.

If wearing bright bottoms and a top are too much color for you to wear at once try a neutral colored top in cream, khaki or chambray denim mixed with bright pants or reverse this with a bright top and neutral bottom. Accessorize with a bright colored tote to give you the color block look.

Currently I'm writing a few notes down in preparation for my Ayurveda and Yoga workshop which is taking place this coming weekend. Later this week I'll post easy to follow notes on how to pacify your system for the chilly and windy fall season ahead.

In the meantime soak in the last bits of him, the summer's sun and know that there's always been a basic wealth of power like him deep within you. Rather than relying on what is outside of you to inspire you like we typically do in the summer use the vibe of the coming dark season ahead to look inward and access your personal light and gifts as we move into the shadow side of the year.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back to School, Back to Structure

After a week having gone by since my eldest son Ryan started High school my entire family is finding their way to adjust to a new household structure of earlier meals and bedtimes. Whether you're in school or not you can sense late summer's transition to fall by feeling cooler air riding the wind, throwing an extra layer into your bag to wear in the evening to having a craving for hot soup, signing up for a workshop or buying a book to learn something new.

For the past few weeks my toddler and I have been taking long walks along the river. As a result all shades of blue have been inspiring my dressing and home decor. Loving how the color blue is affecting me for the positive by tuning my throat chakra to speak up and shut up when needed, I'm finding I'm not quite ready to go through my closet and pack away my summer blues and replace them with fall's earth tones.

Since buying these gold on gold sunflowers and rusty gold mums at the market and creating a few sacred spaces in my home, I've been guided to go slow and add just a few orange and gold pieces to my aquamarine themed wardrobe. I'm currently in the process of storing away the obvious super summery pieces for next year's heat.

With the upcoming Fall Equinox on September 22, it is a great time of the year to follow the day light's cue of being perfectly balanced in length with the night's darkness in your closet. Start by opening up your closet and putting aside a huge give away bag. Little by little fill it up with sandals you will not wear again along with tanks, tights and other clothes you've worn to death that are ready for their next lifetime on another's back. With your new closet space, your creativity can soar as you add a little bit of fall color to blend with a handful of your summer clothes.

Your local church, temple, Salvation Army or a friend is eagerly waiting for your treasures. Some of my most beautiful pieces are vintage clothes and jewelry that have been altered to fit like a glove. So start shedding like the fall season ahead, notice what you may have overlooked wearing in your collection and you maybe surprised what the harvest season has to show you in the weeks to come.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Semi Silent Retreat

When my husband proposed the idea of us going on meditation retreat together for Labor Day weekend my first words were "I'll miss the kids but if we're going to go away together could it at least be romantic?" He being spiritual and a fine architecture lover read about Won Dharma Center in Architectural Digest and didn't give me a sign that he would skip this retreat. Won Dharma is a Korean Buddhist center who offers a variety of retreats from family to solo experiences. For this weekend it was a silent retreat with a girl's and boy's separate dormitory. Not what I had in mind, mostly because before I met my husband I spent over ten years visiting retreat centers like this and I immediately associate sitting with myself for hours at a time with my past and moving through deep pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering always exists and at the moment it is running at a mild pace. With Amit's persistence and knowing attaching labels to something is never a good thing I opened myself up to the Won Dharma experience realizing that I don't always have the right answer.

Won Dharma Center is super clean, filled with Zen sharp lines amidst a country back round along with the best dormitory accommodations I've ever experienced on a meditation or yoga retreat. I didn't take any indoor pictures as each time I was indoors I was meditating. Within the meditation hall is wide open space adorned with no deities rather a huge golden circle. This image is meant for the beholder to process. My interpretation is that once we sit and shed judgments we realize everything and everyone comes from one source.

Vintage paper hat from Bloomingdale's, tunic Monsoon, London

Tunic, vintage from India, necklace www.forever21.com

Earrings www.lailarowe.com

When it comes to packing for a meditation retreat I suggest keeping a neutral color story. I packed only white, navy blue, denim, straw hats and bags with costume silver jewelry. I believe Friday's blue moon was my inspiration.

Also I made sure my clothes were light weight and gave me the proper coverage necessary for meditating and long walks in the country. When I was a younger yogini I never understood why wearing short shorts and a tank top was a no no when it came to sitting in a sangha/group. Now I do. Ladies, you don't need the attention. Meditating is about drawing your energy in, not getting noticed. Besides you will not be working up a sweat as you sit.

My suggestion is, over time invest in a variety of tunics, and good ones. They will last you a lifetime and are timeless pieces. If what I'm sharing doesn't inspire you to cover up in a meditation hall then at least for practical reasons wearing long sleeves and ankle length tights will lessen your mosquito and possibly tick bites.

Shades www.forever21.com Earrings, NYC street vendor

Necklace www.lailarowe.com

Tunic www.zara.com tights & booties www.forever21.com

Light summer booties like these were perfect for long dusty walks on the prairie.

After long periods of meditation you get really good at speaking with your eyes.

On our way to Won Dharma we discovered the town of Hudson, New York. It is filled with great restaurants, style, antiques and charm. I felt like I was in the country version of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Although this spot is better priced.

Because of discovering such a hip town, we decided to redefine our spiritual retreat to match where we are now as a couple. We did so by leaving the center in the evenings to stroll through town, browse through shops, eat and discuss our experiences. This semi silent retreat was just perfect for us.

Bag, vintage and gifted

A teaching that stuck with me from the weekend is, the only way to clear muddy water, our conscience, is to let it sit. Eventually density will settle below and light will shine through the open space.