It’s Not About the Yoga

The Realization I Had Abroad

unnamed

Where I Left Off

The last blog I wrote was at the start of January 2020 when I was taking off on my big life adventure. I had a one way ticket to Indonesia with the intent to explore, experience and deepen my yoga practice. I intended to create space for me to follow intuition and see where I would end up. Three months later we were in the height of a global pandemic. International travel was completely shut down and I took a repatriation flight home to the U.S. Who would have thought? Now six months into this year, I’m reflecting on all that has unfolded.

Moment of Realization

I remember a moment when I was meditating during the peak of the fear and uncertainty for me while in India and thinking, “What the hell?” Everything at the start of this year felt so right and so perfectly aligned. Why was my intuition off? Why is it that I finally mustered up the courage to change my life and travel abroad only to be forcefully blocked and sent back home? It took some in-depth soul sessions to realize, my intuition was not off, everything happened because I was meant to experience it. In the meditation I heard a loud and clear statement, “It’s not about the yoga.”

I’ve been back in the states since early April and have had time to sit with this. What I understand now is, life is not about the physical practice we call yoga, and it was not about studying yoga abroad or completing another Yoga Teacher Training or teaching yoga. It is about embodying everything we learn from our yoga practice in every moment of life, the best that we can.

unnamed-2

Life Lessons

I realized my yoga practice was not in the yoga postures but in the moments where I allowed myself to participate in the human experience with all the love I have in my heart. Where I could find compassion when another was in pain or with grief and uncertainty, especially in the midst of an epidemic. Where I responded with open connection and a smile while many were closing off in fear. It was allowing myself to cry and to be truly seen by others when I needed to be held. It was finding a peaceful state of mind in complete chaos. It was in my commitment to pursue something even though it didn’t turn out anything like I expected, and not being attached to the outcome.

We Are All One

I recognized my yoga practice in the moments where I chose to speak to a taxi driver or street vendor with the same kindness as I would a dear friend. It was in trusting a stranger in moments I experienced fear or doubt, having faith that humans are inherently good. Yoga was in the understanding that ultimately we are all one. It was in the way I connected to people who live different than me, look different than me and experience life different than I will ever be able to comprehend. It was in my willingness to learn about another and realizing just how incredible human beings truly are. Every encounter a blessing and a lesson. 

It is All Perfect

Yoga was seeing large and lovely retreat spaces and also seeing women doing laundry in a river by a city street and looking at both scenes with child-like fascination. It was standing at the foot of a waterfall that shook the ground and finding a deep sense of peace and also standing in line at immigration, or in the heat of the day amidst traffic and coming to that same sense of peace. It was seeing wealth and poverty, kindness and ignorance, nature and waste and to learning to understand that it’s all perfect and it all has a place.

In Response to Life

My yoga practice was in the words I used with others and how I spoke to myself. It was who I was alone and who I was when I was surrounded by others, who I was in front of an audience and who I was when I was listen. I saw where I had opportunity to grow and where I would still shy away in fear. I saw where I was triggered and where I held on to old beliefs. I experienced joy and doubt, beauty and heartbreak, connection and dissonance, abundance and longing. It was as if I experienced a lifetime in every moment, and the most incredible part was witnessing how I responded to life as it unfolded.

unnamed-1

God in All Things

My practice was in the conversations I had about God. Those sublime moments when I listened to another speak of God with such reverence and deep and honest faith it would bring tears to my eyes and my heart felt such love I’ve never experienced before. It was in the subtle way I felt closer to God than ever before while also realizing that it still feels strange for me to speak of God after years of pushing the concept or idea of God away. It was so incredible to experience other cultures where God is so entwined into the very fabric of daily life there is no separation. To have those beautiful glimpses of God in every person, in every action, in every experience and even within myself.

It’s Not About the Yoga

All along it was “not about the yoga”. It was about this wildly beautiful and chaotic human experience we incarnate into so we can attend to our karma, experience love, compassion and kindness, offer selfless service and to remember the God in each and every one of us.

It’s taken three months of self-reflection to process all that I experienced abroad but I am now ready to share. I’ll be sharing more stories and pictures over the coming weeks. It helps me to remember, and perhaps they will be a delight for you as they were for me.

Until then,

Love & [Fire] Light! 🔥
Brittany Nicole | Yoga Fire Flow

Instagram: @YogaFireFlow

Facebook: YogaFireFlowSD

Email: Yogafireflow@gmail.com

unnamed-3

Goodbye Ocean Beach, Hello World

IMG-9031.JPG

New Year Reflections

Yesterday, on January 1st 2020, I moved out of my cozy, inexpensive, bottom floor, alleyway entrance apartment in strange but lovely Ocean Beach, CA. A San Diego beach-side city I have quite a deep admiration for. With it’s weird quicks, crooked Christmas trees, weekly mini festival-style market days, local shops and deep OB pride. A place you can never predict what oddity you may experience while traversing the streets. It will be hard-pressed to find a community as unique as this one. Yet, the time has come to fly the nest and take on the next big life adventure.

I’ve never been too attached to a city or residence, as my family moved a lot growing up. Yet coming over the hill from Point Loma into Ocean beach on the night of January 30th 2019 with the twinkling lights ending at the vast ocean, a wave of grief and love washed over me all at once. I’m going to miss this place. I feel intricately tied to the land here. Hell, this is the longest place I’ve ever lived.

Especially the drastic oceanside cliffs, where I’ve spent so much of my past 9 years. Tumbled by the ocean waves, delicious cat naps on the beaches, fire dancing at the cliff edges, moving my body through countless yoga flows, meditating at the coves by sunlight and moonlight. Watching sunsets that captivate attention, over and over and watching humans navigate and interact in this beautiful space. 

I’ve been in love here, gone through grief here, I’ve met people who have changed my life forever and people who pass through. I’ve experienced some of the most profound moments, and most challenging growth. Laughter, tears, amazement, human connection, spiritual connection, sandy toes, roaring ocean waves and overhead planes and a sense of belonging like nowhere else I’ve ever been.

I sure am going to miss you OB. The fond memories keep flowing in, but I can never completely capture the essence of OB in a short morning post. You will just have to experience it for yourself. 

IMG-2072.jpg

Big Life Adventure

On January 7th 2020 I take off for Bali, Indonesia with the intent to travel for at least 6 months across Southeast Asia and potentially beyond. I left my comfortable corporate job of 9 years so I can take this personal time to explore the world and reconnect to who I am at the deepest levels. It wasn’t an impulsive decision, but rather a very long and planned process of transitioning. “That thing” that I’ve always wanted to do, well, I’m making it happen.

When people ask what my plans are, I find myself giving various answers; to practice and teach yoga, to explore foreign lands and culture, to dive into meditation and spiritual practice, to chronicle my journey, or to find my next career direction. I suppose it will encompass all of those things, but in all honesty I don’t have a reason. This journey is more like a blank canvas. A new space for limitless possibilities to conjure. I left most of my trip open to allow life to flow organically. I land in Bali on January 9th, and the rest is up for exploration.

I intend to follow my intuitive knowing. Whether to linger longer in a place that fascinates me, or to venture on to new terrain. To follow the breadcrumbs from destination to destination knowing  this is the path I am meant to follow. And I do know this is the path I am meant to follow. Despite all of the challenges life presented in 2019, everything seemed to fall into place the day I bought my plane ticket. 

Every step of the way I do an intuitive check-in and so far this transition has been the most natural I have ever made albeit the most drastic. So here I am on the precipice of my big life adventure, surprisingly at ease. I feel complete in closing out my life as I know it and confident in my decision to move forward. I have no idea what the future will hold, but for now, good-bye Ocean Beach, hello world. 🙂

IMG-2060.jpg

Love & [Fire] Light! 🔥
Brittany Nicole | Yoga Fire Flow

Instagram: @YogaFireFlow

Facebook: YogaFireFlowSD

Email: Yogafireflow@gmail.com

Dance Medicine

An Evening of Yoga, Sound, Performance and Dance

Trilogy Sanctuary Dance Medicine, January 2019

unnamed.jpg
photo captured by Sky Film Media

Welcome to Dance Medicine

An evening of music and movement at it’s finest. Rooftop in La Jolla, California, we gather in celebration of life. Where musical vibrations stir the cells of the body and the soul responds with organic, rhythmic movement. Dance Medicine is an all-encompassing, high vibrational event that artistically collaborates music, movement, performance and healing arts and supports a community founded on health and wellness of mind, body and spirit.

Trilogy Sanctuary’s Dance Medicine is an event you don’t want to miss! The first Dance Medicine of 2019 will be held Saturday, January 19th. Yoga, Sound Healing, Fire and Aerial Performances, Live DJ and Ecstatic Dance, Body Healers, Tea Ceremony, Organic Vegan Food, Elixir Bar and the most fascinating collection of humans from all walks of life.

17015858_850670965086760_8254665031550841815_o.jpg
Photo captured at Dance Medicine 2018

Join Me for a Juicy Dance Yoga Flow

Kicking off the evening, I’ll be guiding a delicious Dance Yoga session! I’ll encourage blending the boundaries between yoga, dance and organic flow so you can expect to experience some bounce for your asana! Allow yourself uninhibited movement in this yoga dance flow. I invite you to move with embodied expression, juicy transitions and loving awareness. This yoga session will get you ready to shake it on the dance floor for the headlining DJ, Phutureprimitive!

47051605_2305952199679358_2618600938570514432_o
Photo captured by Bryan Anderson Photography

Fire and Aerial Performances on the Rooftop

Join me on the rooftop deck after Dance Yoga & Sound Healing, and enjoy a delightful showcase of talent with fire dancing and aerial performances by the Trilagypsies. I’ll be lighting up the night with passion fueled fire dancing! There is nothing I adore more than lovingly manipulating such a powerful element as fire. I invite you to glimpse the world from my firey perspective, and to dance wildly in the flames of your own heart. ❤

44908366_1224384404382079_1844870276777508864_o.jpg
Photo captured at Dance Medicine 2018

DJ and Ecstatic Dance

This Dance Medicine features the incredible DJ and Producer, Phutureprimitive who floods dance floors with his groovy, bass-heavy vibrations and intricate, melodic sounds. Allow complete freedom in movement and expression on the dance floor. This community encourages your authentic self to come out and play! Dance into the evening with every vibrant cell of your being. I can’t think of a better way to launch into this amazing new year!

16825842_850628701757653_7465684124304731116_o.jpg
Photo captured at Dance Medicine 2018

Meet Me at Trilogy Sanctuary

Trilogy Sanctuary is more than just a beautiful venue. It is a complete health and wellness sanctuary, as the name implies. They offer a wide variety of yoga and aerial classes everyday, both indoor and rooftop. You will find a delicious all organic, vegan cafe with delightful dishes, smoothies, juices and deserts. They also provide an array of healing modalities in energy work, nutrition and more. Trilogy is a total mind, body and spirit experience. Most notably though, Trilogy creates a special haven for community with many amazing events and workshops monthly. They are well-known for their vibrant full moon parties, new moon and cacao ceremonies, acrobatics workshops, sound healings, and of course, Dance Medicine.

16991680_850629411757582_3486004125597103803_o.jpg
Owner Leila Dora and her lotus at Dance Medicine 2018

Save the Date!

I hope you can join us on January 19th for the first Dance Medicine of 2019! Come early for Dance Yoga & Sound Healing, be entertained with fire and aerial performances, grab a tasty treat at the cafe and then dance the night away to live music. The Trilogy tribe welcomes you with open arms!

48364979_1256674814486371_6178960610265399296_o.jpg

Click Here for Dance Medicine Event Details

Reserve your tickets at www.trilogysanctuary.com/calendar

 

Love & [Fire] Light! 🔥
Brittany Nicole | Yoga Fire Flow

Facebook: YogaFireFlowSD

Instagram: @YogaFireFlow

Online: YogaFireFlow.com

Email: Yogafireflow@gmail.com

 

Check out Trilogy Sanctuary

Online: trilogysanctuary.com

Facebook: TrilogySanctuary

Instagram: @TrilogySanctuary

This Is How I Vegan

My Vegan Food Go-to’s

25552412_10105833514601930_8049331259130114109_n.jpg

I’m Vegan. I love it and it works for me.

I’m fortunate to live in San Diego which is a very vegan friendly city and I have an extensive community of friends who are also vegan. This makes for glorious vegan potlucks and vegan dining with friends. I couldn’t be more grateful!

However, I wasn’t always vegan, it was a lifestyle I transitioned into. A lot of hard-wiring needed to be reversed and I couldn’t have done it alone. I had to reach out to many people for healthy tips and suggestions and to slowly discover my own body’s unique needs.

A co-worker recently reached out to me saying she and her partner were wanting to add more vegan dishes into their diet and she asked what were some of my vegan favorites. “Also, what is that delicious cheesy yeasty sprinkle you let me try one day?” she asked. Well, my response was probably a lot more long-winded than anticipated. I realized how much I love talking about food!

So, in case you were wondering what a vegan, yogi, fire performer, flow artist eats to stay nourished, here it is! *Disclaimer: I am not a registered nutritionist, doctor or anything of the sort, this is simply what works for my body. ❤

Here Are My Go-to Foods:

 

Quinoa

Quinoa with everything. It’s a gluten-free, high protein grain that makes a meal more hearty and gives me the energy to be active. I add it on my salads, into stir frys, curries and soup or just eat it solo. It can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner in my opinion. One of my favorite breakfast dishes is quinoa and sweet potato hash with cinnamon and coconut oil. Yum!

 

Veggies

I eat A LOT of veggies! There are so many incredible vegetables out there but below are a few of my favorites. The veggies I prefer cooked: brussel sprouts (hands-down fav), broccoli, kale, mushrooms, zucchinis and squashes, beats, sweet potatoes and yams. The veggies I prefer raw: spinach, chard, arugula, dandelion greens, sprouts and cucumbers.

 

Rice & Beans

This combo is also a complete protein when paired together. I enjoy brown rice or wild rice and lentils or chickpeas. Other types of beans don’t sit well with my stomach so I stick to these. It’s about learning to listen to your body and what feels right.

 

Avocados!

Another item I add to EVERYTHING. I don’t remember life in the Midwest before avocados were an everyday thing here on the West Coast! It has the healthy fats I need and adds a creamy texture when mixed into a dish. I use avocado and apple cider vinegar instead of a dressing for my salads. I also add it to soups, desserts, smoothies and so much more.

 

Nutritional Yeast

That “delicious cheesy yeasty sprinkle” my coworker mentioned. I add it on salads, in veggie “pastas” or just on top of my broccoli. It’s a great substitute for a cheese taste and has many health benefits! Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast is a great brand.

 

Nuts

Also a good source of protein and absolutely delicious! I use in moderation as it’s SO easy to go nuts! But they are one of my favorite treats.

 

Hummus and Cucumbers

Anyone who knows me will tell you I eat a lot of hummus and cucumber. I like to dip zucchini, broccoli and mushrooms as well. That’s my lazy snack. It’s also perfect for road trips, hiking and camping. My hands-down favorite hummus is Majestic Garlic Hummus. I also love their garlic spreads!

 

Crunchy

I love crunchy things. To avoid eating salsa chips (my weakness) I do plain rice crackers and popcorn. Not microwavable popcorn, but rather popping seeds on the stove.  I add coconut oil and nutritional yeast for cheesy, buttery taste! My favorite rice crackers are the brown rice, salt-free Lundberg Rice Crackers. They have many other flavors too!

 

Gluten-free Oats

Another hearty grain I have often. I try to stay mainly gluten free in my diet. I love oatmeal, cookies and energy bars made with oats rather than other flours.

 

Deserts

The most important category, duh! I put it last because I always end with something sweet. I have a wicked sweet tooth. To be honest, I just love raw cacao! It’s a bitter taste to some at first, but I love the bite. If not raw cacao i’ll go with dark chocolate containing 70% cacao or more and as low in sugar and additives as possible. My other easy go-to desert is sliced dates with peanut butter and cinnamon. They’re delicious and always a party hit! Also, frozen banana and cacao ice cream is another favorite. If I want to get fancy, it’s all about the avocado cacao mousse! Made with dates and maple B syrup as the sweeteners. It’s absolutely divine!

24068286_10105763446743480_7019753579569681524_n.jpg

Vegan Versions of My Favorite Dishes

Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat only quinoa, veggies and hummus to go vegan! There are many traditional dishes that can be made vegan by subbing the meat for a vegetable. For me, food is mostly about the texture and the sauce (aside from the nutrition, of course). So the “trick” is to use a vegetable instead of meat but mimic the same texture. It’s the texture and the bomb sauce that tricks your mind into thinking you’re eating a traditional dish.

Veggie Substitutions I’ve Used:

  • Cauliflower in place of chicken. Breaded and baked then doused in vegan hot sauce. It’s just like chicken wings!
  • Jack fruit. You can buy it in a can and it has the texture of pulled pork. I use it with vegan BBQ sauce, add some vegan coleslaw and make “pulled pork” sliders or tacos.
  • Mushrooms, lentils or quinoa can all be flavored with Mexican spices and used as a delicious taco or burrito filling.
  • Cashew and nutritional yeast as a cheese dip or sauce. You can also flavor with basil and garlic to make a pesto or alfredo sauce.
  • Beats and chickpeas to create a veggie burger. It even gives a reddish color to the burger. There are so many awesome veggie burger recipes online.
  • Spaghetti squash. I use this instead of pasta noodles for a gluten-free option. When you bake the squash the insides peel off like thin “noodles.” I either add marinara or the vegan pesto or alfredo sauce mentioned above.
  • Eggplant in sushi rolls. It has a chewy texture that can resemble fish. With the wasabi, rice and seaweed, it satisfies my sushi cravings!

Eating Clean

Typically I avoid soy and processed soy products as they may cause hormone imbalances and are often genetically modified. I also avoid processed and packaged food in general. I prefer to make my own food so I know i’m eating clean. When i’m feeling lazy, I keep it simple with a curry or stir fry. When I’m looking for convenience I go to my local vegan cafe. When I want gourmet I go to one of my favorite vegan restaurants. There are so many options! I often get new recipe ideas from the local cafes and restaurants to try at home later.

Try a Few Restaurants in the San Diego Area:

  • Trilogy Sanctuary, La Jolla. My favorite place in the world. I seriously would eat there every day if I could. All organic, no gluten or soy and the most amazing food! I took my non-vegan family here and they were all so impressed with the hearty meals and vegan takes on classic dishes. My favorite is the “Perfect Tacos.” They’re literally perfect in my opinion.
  • People’s Organic Food Market, Ocean Beach. The upstairs deli is all vegan & serves by food weight so you can choose your portion and keep it lower cost! (I eat there almost every day, no joke)
  • OB Garden Cafe, Ocean Beach. Right next door to People’s Co-op but with a refreshing sit-down menu of delicious items.
  • Hugo’s Cocina, Ocean Beach. Not completely vegan, but has quite a few vegan options. And I love my Mexican food! My favorite is the sweet potato burrito.
  • Soul Much. Vegan Cookies. Enough said. Actually, there is so much more to be said! They use upcycled grains and juice pulp from local restaurants to cut food waste and create the most absolutely delicious vegan cookies I’ve ever had! Right now you can catch them at the rotating local farmers markets. Be prepared to get hooked!
  • A few other local favorites: Peace Pies, Kindred, Café Gratitude

Eat What Feels Good in Your Body

You many also notice along your journey that some foods, even though they are considered healthy and/or taste good, may not sit well in your body. Your body is simply asking you to listen. For me, red peppers and black beans really hurt my stomach. I love them, but choose to leave them out of my diet. Also, I’m sensitive to almonds and peanuts and my skin flares up when I have too much, so I try not to have them too often. I’m not going to lie, I would probably eat buckets of peanut butter daily if I could. It’s a lot of trial an error and noticing how you feel after each meal! So as you try new vegan options, also bring mindfulness to what you eat, how you feel after and how you feel over the week. Eventually you will find what foods work best for you and keep you running at optimal health!

I could talk about food ALL DAY! But i’ll leave it here for now. I’d love to hear some of your favorite vegan meals or places to dine! I’m always up to try something new and delicious!

Love & [Fire] Light! 🔥

Brittany

Feel free to email me at Yogafireflow@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook at YogaFireFlowSD

46771348_2304767866464458_371556418186117120_o.jpg

A New Year With Intention

A Year of Self Care & Refined Growth

How I Commit to My Intention Setting

1.jpg
Photo by Brandon Plantz

A New Year, a New You

We’ve all heard this one! Honestly, I believe every day is a new day to start over, to start planning, to start DOING. However, beyond the hype, I still believe it’s very powerful to create new year’s intentions and I put a lot of thought and time into it every year!

Preparing My Intentions

Typically in the month leading up to the new year I begin reflecting on the past year, as is natural! I think about what I did, where I went, who I spent time with and most importantly, what I learned. I’m always in awe of how many amazing things unfolded! As I reflect, I begin jotting down related items that I didn’t get around to just yet, or I know I would like to accomplish in the upcoming year.

Highlight the Positive

Personally, I find it helpful to highlight the positive. Rather than “do not do this, or cut out that”, I like to focus on what I want to call in. This gets me excited about the possibilities, rather than feeling restricted.

Refining Intentions

Once I have pages of intentions written down (yes pages, I tend to write a lot), I begin to group and summarize them in categories. I then decide what’s most important to me right now or what I truly want to accomplish in the new year. By trimming down the list I know I have a better chance of following through with my intentions.

Make It Memorable

I know a few people who organize their intentions with timelines and due dates and I think that’s incredible and probably very helpful. However, I don’t often follow a very linear way of thinking. For me, I need to make it emotional. Make it memorable.

Self Ceremony

Typically I do a simple self-created ceremony. The key is I put a lot of heart and energy into the moment so it becomes powerful and is burned into my memory. I make the ceremony an offering to the new year and to my future self. For example, I may physically write out my intentions on tiny pieces of paper, hold each in my palm and reflect, then toss it into a fire and watch it burn completely. I have also stood on the shore of the ocean, writing my intentions in the sand for the waves to carry out, then plunged into the freezing water as a seal of commitment. I enjoy these moments solo so I can allow myself to let go and deeply feel the power of each intention.

Vision Board

I absolutely love holding a vision-boarding night each year! This is fun to do in a group setting as we all inspire and encourage one another. I get a few friends together and we all contribute magazines, glue and glitter and get crafty! Unlike my written intentions, my vision board is more of an intuitive flow. As I scan magazines I find pictures and words that jump out to me and I cut them out. I keep my written intentions in mind as I do so, but I also allow creative possibilities to be included. I then place the pictures and words organically on a poster board and allow them to lay as seems natural. I love overlapping, sideways and upside down content. I love vibrancy and contrast and rhythmic flow! My vision boards are always so catching I can’t possibly ignore my new year’s intentions! Finally, I hang my vision board in a place I will see it every day.

2.jpg
Photo by Brandon Plantz

2018 Personal Recap

2018 was all about exploration for me. I tried many new things, saying yes to all sorts of activities I hadn’t tried before. I met so many incredible people by being open to conversation and listening more than I spoke. I explored beautiful new terrain in countries abroad and driving up the length of California and back. I also explored inner terrain by *finally* meditating every single day (I’ll never miss a day again!). I read into several philosophies and religions and sciences to see what sparked my interest. I wanted to see what called to me. “You won’t know if you like it until you try it!” 2018 was wonderful and exciting and oftentimes completely awkward, but I’m glad I did it all!

Looking Forward to 2019

In 2019 I want to refine my explorations and place my energy in areas that strongly resonate. I plan to spend time with people who are deeply happy, colorful and enlightening. I aim to dive deeper into the aspects of life that fascinate me, or simply “feel like home” in my heart. I will commit to the things that continue to create a healthy and happy human experience. While my spontaneous Aquarius soul still wants to, “try all the things!”, I know in order to understand and experience anything on a deeper level I will need to pour more energy and time into it. I spent a few days prior to the new year hibernating and determining what I want to call in this year.

Here Are Some of My New Year’s Intentions:

Overall themes:

  • Stay True to Self! Dedicated self care for mind, body and spirit
  • Complete transformative life shift – Stay tuned!

Goals:

  • Travel abroad – At least two new countries
  • Yoga Fire Flow – Teaching and performing ❤
  • Blogging weekly (*wink wink*) and writing and posting daily

Spiritual:

  • Meditation with intention
  • Trust intuition with firm decisiveness
  • Earth honoring and attunement with natural cycles

Body:

  • Strengthen self yoga practice for overall body wellness
  • Train flow arts, circus, aerial, and acro for sustainability rather than the quick trick
  • Two minute handstand, consistent handstand press, one arm float

Money:

  • Money flows to me in abundance!
  • Save money strategically to travel and explore

Learn / Study:

  • Speak and understand Spanish
  • Human anatomy, alignment, etc

Community:

  • Selfless service – find a cause and commit to it!
  • Be the Best Human Possible ❤

Happy New Year!

I wish you all the best on your new year’s intention setting and hope you have the most incredible and transforming new year!

3.jpg
Photo by Brandon Plantz

Love & [Fire] Light! 🔥
Brittany Nicole | Yoga Fire Flow

Email me at Yogafireflow@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook at YogaFireFlowSD

Busy Living or Too Busy to Live?

Are You Too Busy for Life?

Why You Should Ban the Word ‘Busy’ from Your Vocabulary

IMG_2971.jpg
Photo by Brandon Plantz

“Hey! How are you today?”

“Busy!”

How many times have you heard that response? How many times have you given that response? I bet a lot more than you even realize.

 

How Are You Today?

I saw a friend the other day who I hadn’t seen in a while. Being super excited to catch up, I naturally ask, “How have you been?”  “Busy!” they replied with exasperation. Wow, I thought, that sounded pretty weighted, and not necessarily a good thing! I inquired further and they began to fire off a long laundry list of activities they accomplished recently as if mentally checking off their To Do list. After a long pause, allowing the heaviness to sink in, they asked, “So, how are you?”

My brain went through a flipbook of a million things I had going on, but my stomach turned as the word “busy” tried to escape my lips. Somehow “busy” did not seem to do justice what i’ve been experiencing. “Life has been filled with so many amazing things!” I replied. Their eyes lit up and I imagine that mine did too. Wow, that felt good!

 

Too Busy for Our Own Good

Yeah, we are ALL busy! It’s a staple of our culture to utilize every minute of our day to be productive, to accomplish our To Do list, to work towards our dreams, to change the world, but also to make sure rent happens. But if “busy” is the only adjective you can use to describe your life in a nutshell, is that really the way you want to be living?

 

Have an Abundant Day

I decided to cut the word “busy’ out of my vocab from that moment on, and it’s completely shifted my perspective on what I do every day! I now substitute with words like abundant, full and complete. How much better does that sound? I am having such an abundant day! My Life has been full of opportunities and each moment is complete! Yes. That’s the kind of life worth living!

When you use the word “busy” it tends to imply that you are doing things that you “have” to do, or “should” do. It’s normally said with a sigh also implying that busy is something overwhelming and not really a pleasant experience. If your day is abundant, full and complete then it implies you are having a positive human experience. And why not? We deserve to!

 

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life

It may be true, you can’t live every day like you’re on vacation (so some say), and some days you may realize you have over-dedicated yourself, however, you still get to choose how to frame your perspective. You can look at your day or your To Do list with resentment or you can look with eager eyes and get excited about the things you choose to bring into your life.

There are always going to be things we “have” to do or “should” do, but ultimately we still choose to do these things. We always have a choice. Owning the fact that you have a choice every day to fill your life with people, tasks, events and experiences will allow you to realize how empowered you really are.

If you are actively choosing to go to your current job, to attend certain events, to be around specific people, why not enjoy the experience? If you change the way you phrase your life description, you can change the way you think about life completely.

 

Try It Out

You can say “My day is full with clients who depend on me because i’m good at what I do, money comes in abundance because I deserve it, I attend events because I enjoy them and learn from them, and I hang around people who encourage my growth and healthy lifestyle.” Now, doesn’t that feel good?

If you really do not enjoy your day-to-day life, it’s time to make some serious shifts! In the meantime, though, start with the things you can change right now, like the way you perceive. What you speak becomes your truth and permeates into what you feel, do, think and experience and the way you relate to others. So speak of a life you want to live, that you choose to live, that you completely enjoy living!

Remove “busy” from your vocabulary! Start using the adjectives that get you excited about life! And have the most full, abundant and complete day!



Love & [Fire] Light! 🔥
Brittany Nicole | Yoga Fire Flow

Email me at Yogafireflow@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook at YogaFireFlowSD

Do You Want to Acro with Me? Yes. No. Maybe Later.

Acro Yoga and Consent

Feeling Empowered in Your Choice to Participate in Acro Play

21741186_10100122118919933_8363660849535882618_o.jpg

Acro yoga play is such a beautiful way to connect with other humans and learn impressive skills you never thought you’d capable of. Not to mention, it makes for some really great Instagram content too. 😉 Most importantly, though, acro teaches us about trust, communication and the boundaries of our bodies and our personal space. The acro yoga community is such an accepting, supportive and playful group who often seem to be “Yes” men and women, willing to try some daring feats. However, it is important to know that you can also say “No.”

Trust and Safety

Feeling safe with the person you are playing with is crucial. Even though it is often described as acro play, this can be a very dangerous activity and safety should always be priority. Before you jump into acro for your first time or with a new partner or into a new skill with an existing partner, do a quick self check-in. Do you trust the person you are practicing with? Do you have a designated spotter and do you trust them? And of course, do you trust yourself? Your instinct will almost always be right! Even if you have the most trustworthy partner if you don’t trust yourself you run the risk of injury to yourself or others.

For any “famous firsts” or new skills I highly encourage having a spotter. A spotter being a third person who will be attentive to the participating bodies and break a fall if needed. Seems like common sense but unfortunately many people fail to invite a spotter over because others seem busy. However, WE CARE! If you need a spot, ask for one and I guarantee you’ll be supported. One, you’ll make a new friend, and two, you won’t break an arm or an ankle! Sounds like a win-win situation to me. 😉

Whether you are new to acro or have been practicing for years there will be situation which you may decide is not safe or you are not comfortable with (yet) and you need to trust your intuition and be honest with your partner.

Communication

Communication is everything in acro. How else can you coordinate beautiful, precise movements with another human? You need to have excellent communication both verbal and non-verbal. In the case of consent before action, verbal is the best way to go! Just be honest. It’s that simple. If you don’t feel comfortable, say so. See below on “How to say no to a friend”.

If you have a pre-existing injury, definitely make that apparent. If you inform your partner about your injuries, they can help prevent further injury by being aware and avoiding your injured area or being extra attentive. This way you can still acro play but with mindfulness. You may even come up with a new flow as you use new parts of your body and leave the injured parts out.

Boundaries

We all have unique bodies, skill sets and levels of comfort, therefore we all have unique boundaries. Know what your boundaries are and know that they should always be honored. You do not need to give into peer pressure (which may be masked as “Just try, I believe in you”). Even if your friends sound reassuring, you don’t have to comply if it doesn’t feel right. Again, check-in with your instinct, and go with that! Your boundaries will shift and change as you become more experienced and as you experience new partners. As you practice, you’ll cultivate a stronger sense of body awareness and awareness of others both physically and energetically and it will only become easier to set your boundaries openly.

Honor Your Body

Not only is it important to be honest with others, but also be honest with your own body. Injuries happen and you need to honor your body by taking time to rest. (Rest day? And miss out on learning a new skill?) Yes. Take the time to rest and heal! You’ll be surprised at how much stronger you are when you come back after some rest and self-love. Sometimes you have to tell yourself “No” when it’s in your body’s best interest. 👌

Of course, also let your friends and partners know when you are choosing rest for your shoulder, ankle, fill-in-the-blank with a body part, or just in general. For example, I’ve had shoulder pain for the past couple of months and have not been able to do as much acro as I would have liked. When showing up at acro jams I’ve really had to activate my willpower to say No.

Some days I would decline all acro play and explain that I am resting and healing, and I would opt to stretch and socialize instead. Other days I checked in with my body and chose to acro with a more seasoned acro-yogi or acrobat who has attentive body awareness. However, I would decline play with those who were still working on their acro awareness and body-saving skills. Because of my injury I could not “save myself” if something went awry without worry of further injury. I did not want to risk my long term acro play capabilities, so I had to be selective. It has become easier each time to be upfront and decline if I feel it’s necessary.

23511215_10105706836755350_7767197188438229807_o.jpg

How To Say No to a Friend

It’s hard sometimes! You may feel bad declining someone that you care a lot about as a friend, but a true friend will value your honesty. To be honest, I have some very good friends that I simply don’t feel comfortable doing acro with. Some are still learning and have not yet built the reaction time or awareness to save another. Others are into “big tricks” with no regard for building foundations first. Both can be very dangerous for both flyer and base.

The best way to navigate this:

  • Say no thank you, you will pass at this time. You needn’t say more than this if you don’t feel comfortable. Just say it with kindness and add an authentic smile. 😃
  • Request a spot. If you believe they have good intentions but they are still strengthening their skills, you can request a spotter to be on hand until you feel comfortable. If there is no spotter available explain you would prefer not to right now.
  • Offer to spot them and another human. For my more reckless friends that I’d prefer not to acro with because of their trigger-happy style, I offer to spot them and another person. This is not to pass the danger off to someone else, but because I trust myself as a spot and know that I will have both the base and flyer’s best interest at hand. *If you do not feel comfortable or capable to spot others, DO NOT offer to spot. Again, be honest with yourself, your capabilities and comfort levels. Simple! 🙂

Respect the Decline

Last, but definitely not least, respect the decline. As a receiver, don’t be offended if another human declines acro play with you. Don’t take it personally, know that they are being open and honest with you and that is a beautiful thing! You don’t know what they’re experiencing in life and it may have nothing to do with whether they like you or your acro abilities. Always assume the best and be honored for the open communication. You can always offer to play another time.

I had an amazing friend of mine decline my offer to play because they had a performance coming up. They were very upfront about it stating they had a show that weekend and didn’t want to risk it. However, they did feel comfortable doing some tricky standing acro with a familiar partner of theirs. I wasn’t offended in the slightest and wanted them to have an incredible performance, which they did!

I also asked a good friend of mine to acro play once and he just blatantly said No. Not offering any other explanation. It actually made me laugh out loud because it was so blunt. I knew there was no ill-intention or dislike, he was just matter-of-fact. It was great! It gave me the confidence to be more upfront with others.

The Acro Community

As in any community, communication is key! In the acro community especially, as you do have other human’s lives in your hands (and on your feet). We want to protect the humans we love, and the new humans we meet! You also want to protect yourself, your body and your boundaries as well. So keep it simple, always do an intuitive check-in and be open and honest with your communication. Know that you can say No. That way your Yeses are a “Hell Yes” and you can have a wonderful time learning acro things you never thought possible! 💚

30704391_2066799300233937_186433288417075140_n.jpg

Beginner Acro Yoga Lessons

If you are a beginner to acro yoga and are looking to learn the basics, I offer acro lessons! I’d love to teach you the foundations and introduce you to the community so that you can begin your acro journey!

Email me at Yogafireflow@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook at YogaFireFlowSD

 

Love & [Fire] Light! 🔥

Brittany

My Experience with The New Age Circus

How to Live the Perfect Day

Reflecting on Momentom Collective – The New Age Circus

FB_IMG_1520379553022.jpg

Let Me Take You on a Journey

Take a moment to drop in. Deep into your heart space. I ask you to envision your idea of a Perfect Day. What would it look like? Can you See it? Now, what does it FEEL like? Use your senses and delve deep into what it smells like, sounds like and even how it tastes.

You may notice a shift in your energy as you do so. A buzzing sensation, perhaps? A warming glow emanating from your skin. Your heart noticeably beating faster, stronger, so that you can almost hear it sing with vibration. Yeah, that is the place where Magic happens.

What if you could bring that vision to life? Or the more relevant question is, what is stopping you from bringing that vision to life? Your Perfect Day is possible! If you Will it into creation, it will Be.

DSC05477-01-01.jpeg

Photo captured by Global Degree

The Perfect Day

My Perfect Day occurs in a vibrant paradise, saturated with color and scenic views. A place cradled by nature, touched by all the elements, seemingly at the center of it all. Where every movement creates waves and you deeply understand the interconnectedness of mind, body, spirit and all the spaces in between.

I would wake up to the sun rising over an abundant body of water. Taking time to rise slowly and savoring the present moment, each bare footstep on the ground. I’d transition into juicy morning movements to activate my body, then slide into meditation where I expand at the edges and tap into Flow State.

My Perfect Day would be shared with other beings, who like me, live with an open heart and open mind, who believe in magic and ride on the waves of adventure. Who explore the capacity of their human form and use it to express art through movement, music, language and connection. Who come together to teach, to learn, to share nourishment and exchange energy so that we are all Lifted in turn.

As the sun sets, and the stars blink open above us, we would dance wildly in celebration of life. Spinning along with the earth, dancing around the sun. Moving as unique expressions of a Collective Whole. As the lull of the evening eventually winds us down we share stories of magic and experience. We talk of possibilities that have no limits like time and space. Until sweet dreams overcome me and I’d rest deeply.

20180308_072222.jpg

Living the Perfect Day

I know this to be my Perfect Day as I have already lived it before, and will live it again! I want to express gratitude for Momentom Collective for creating the space for me to experience firsthand my Perfect Day, as described above. As I reflect on my experience at Momentom, I feel that delicious buzzing sensation of dreams being actualized, of living in alignment with my heart and soul.

So here’s a loving shout out to Momentom and the incredible humans who make it all possible! Especially to Gabrielle Bonneville, Lisa Renee, Jeff Kirdeikis, Alice Faeland, John Early, Taylor and Veronique Zork, Faegann Harlow and all the beautiful and talented people who assembled to create a haven for us all to connect and expand. There were so many people who touched my heart during my stay at Momentom, I couldn’t possibly name them all (but I list them in my heart).

 

FB_IMG_1521639425222.jpg

What is Momentom Collective?

In a nutshell, Momentom Collective is a new age circus for the digital nomad. They have residencies across the globe for people who embrace circus, yoga and performance lifestyle and want to actualize their dreams and find a community that supports them completely. This residency is so much more than a retreat because you equally contribute what you take away.  

Not only can you come to train and refine circus related skills, you may also offer your creative passions by teaching the skills you already have, facilitating talks and workshops, creating music, art or ceremony or simply by holding space. At Momentom you are equal parts a student and a teacher. It also offers a constructive workspace for entrepreneurs and those who subscribe to the digital nomad lifestyle.

The talent, passion, and creativity at Momentom is inspiring and provides you the tools to create the life you wish to live. This is your chance to truly live your dreams. Come to train, to teach, to connect, come as you are, leave as you want to be. I highly recommend you connect with Momentom today if the world-traveling circus, yoga and digital nomad life makes you feel alive. The possibilities are endless! Do “That Thing” that makes your Heart Sing!

Check out this amazing video captured at the Guatemala Residency. You can see me in my true element, hooping my heart out.  💖Video by Global Degree

FB_IMG_1531842744117.jpg

Poetic Reflections on Momentom Collective

Here is an IG post I made shortly after my stay. A poem to Momentom, if you will.

#throwback to a very special place in between the lines of our perceived linear time. Where Magic dripped from the colored pixels of the textured scenery. Where Movement embellished every action with Passion and Heart. Where Connections deep as the watery depths of this seemingly passive lake emerge from tumultuous currents beneath the surface. Every particle so completely ALIVE in a wild dance of Creation and Consciousness! We tumble, we rise, we float, we Fly, we extend out of our being, past our limits only to realize there are.. no.. edges! Just an ecstatic churning of brilliant energy in orchestrated chaos! Pure Bliss. THAT Place that fleetingly passes across the back of my vision as I bat my eyelids. Always there. Always present. Like a filter with which I now see the world. And I am eternally GRATEFUL!

Connect with Momentom Collective and join the new age circus today!

Momentom has upcoming Residencies in Bali, Indonesia in and Guatemala.

DSC05588-01.jpeg

Photo captured by Global Degree

Want to get into the Circus and Flow Arts life today?

I do private sessions for Hula Hoop, Poi and Partner Acrobatics. Let’s activate your inner entertainer! No experience necessary!

Email me at yogafireflow@gmail.com 🔥

20180310_153934.jpg

So, What the heck are Fire Poi?

 

20988893_10105871522314047_3186315873269172759_o.jpg

The Healthy Mind and Body Benefits to Spinning Poi

Discover Performance Poi and How This Practice Can Be Beneficial to Your Health and Wellness

Ever been Wow’d by the enchanting dance of a fire performer but wonder what the heck they are spinning around their body? I remember the first time i saw a fire performance and thought, “What is this sorcery? I want to try!” Fast forward a few years and now I am joyously on the flip-side as the fire performer sharing this fiery light and rhythmic dance with others! So, let’s talk Poi.

Great Balls of Fire

Poi is a performance art that involves swinging tethered weights in rhythmic and geometric patterns while infusing dance elements. Poi can be made out of a variety of materials, but Fire Poi consists of a heavy wick generally in the shape of a ball at the end of two chains or tethers. Sounds a bit intimidating, huh? Well they used to be slightly less so.

A Brief History of poi

Poi originated with the Māori people of New Zealand. It was originally made out of twisted flax fibers and plant stems tied in a knot at the end with decorative tassels. They were used in choreographed performance in conjunction with storytelling and singing. It was not initially performed with fire. You can check out some sweet videos of traditional Māori Poi dance here. Tourism to the island allowed the poi ball to grow in popularity and now it’s a world-wide apparatus that keeps on evolving!

Poi Play Today

These days you can find many variations of poi, from the breathtaking fire poi, to the technical LED glow poi, and even the simplistic practice poi. Practice poi are the best way for a beginner to start working with the poi art form and to build a skill set before setting wicks and chains on fire. Practice poi can also be made out of a variety of materials including socks with weights, glow sticks on strings, etc. As long as you have weighted tethers you can experience the dynamics of poi, and I highly suggest you do!

Poi is not just for performance, it can be done by anyone! There are so many amazing benefits to practicing poi.

Change Your Brain

Watching a fire poi performance looks beautiful, but did you know practicing this skilled artform can change your brain? Here are some of these was poi play can benefit your cognitive development.

  • Creates new neural pathways as complex patterns are learned
  • Balances left and right brain hemispheres
  • Improves motor coordination
  • Improves hand eye coordination
  • Improves reflexes and reaction time
  • Heightens spatial awareness
  • Develops concentration and focus
  • Develops precision and accuracy

No Gym Pass Needed

Not only is poi good for you brain, but it’s great for your body too. 💪🏽

  • Strengthens upper body; arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers
  • Encourages muscle toning and flexibility
  • An aerobic, full-body workout when dance is incorporated
  • Balances and strengthens both sides of the body
  • Develops a sense of rhythm and timing
  • Strengthens cardiovascular health
  • Increases circulation
  • Improves body posture

A Healthy Confidence Boost

  • Increases self confidence and self esteem
  • Encourages patience and persistence
  • Relieves stress when in a meditative flow
  • Activates conscious movement and body awareness
  • Connect with community as you learn and share with others
  • Feel like a warrior with your new skills
  • A healthy hobby to have, you’ll never be bored again!
  • You’ll be invited to every event in the neighborhood 😎

So What Are You Waiting For?

Poi can be practiced by anyone, at any age! Children can practice poi to instill healthy habits, cognitive and physical abilities at an early age. The elderly can practice to resist and potentially reverse mental and physical decline. Everyone in between can find joy and amusement in learning new skills and incorporating dance and movement, and maybe just a little showing off. It’s good for you! 

Start Practicing Poi Today!

I offer one-on-one lessons and a weekly group session on Thursdays in Ocean Beach, CA. Reach out! I’d love to schedule some time to work with you and begin your poi journey! Whether you want to learn for the health benefits, for fun, or hope to perform with fire one day, I can get you started! 💚

Book Me For Your Next Event

I’d be honored to spin fire at your next event! I offer a variety of fire apparatuses including poi, hula hoop, fans, dragon staff and levi wand and can tailor the performance to your special event. 

Email me at: yogafireflow@gmail.com

Or check out my upcoming events on Facebook: facebook.com/yogafireflowsd

Love & [Fire] Light!💖🔥

Brittany

📸 Photo captured by the incredible Orin Louis Weintraub. Pacificreverie.com 

Morning Movement – Better than Coffee*

Brittany_014.jpg

How to Feel Energized on a Monday Morning

Incorporating Morning Movement Into Your Routine

Monday morning is back again. Regardless of your schedule there seems to be something about Mondays that affect people in general. Enter – slow motion, lethargy and lack of motivation. There is nothing wrong with honoring the need for slow movement but if you need to tap into some energy to get through the day, start moving!

No, I am not one of those people who hits the gym or runs a half marathon in the early AM, and you don’t need to be either. Actually, I’m typically a silent and slow mover in the morning. However, nothing invigorates my body better than getting the blood flowing after hours of stillness and rest.

To be honest, I don’t do the same thing every morning, I like to change it up depending on what my body is asking for. Take time to tap into your body and ask what it wants and it will speak to you. Most likely it’s just asking for a little love.

Slow, conscious movement works best for me. First, I do a complete body scan and really breathe into the tight spaces. Then I begin to incorporate movement to loosen up my tight muscles and shake the sleepiness from my cells. I even imagine my breath activating each cell and gently orchestrating a dance through my body.

Once I get the cells and muscles moving with breath the energy effortlessly begins to flow. It’s amazing to witness energy pouring in! It’s possible to tap into a deep source of energy, which is always available, you just have to open yourself up to it. For me, it’s better than coffee!* 💜✌🏼

Some of my favorite morning movement:

Restorative Yoga

Deep stretching and muscle activation and release, yes please! I love taking long holds and really enjoying each yoga pose. I allow myself to sit with each pose for a number of deep breaths. Bringing awareness to every aspect of my body feels so nurturing! Try Yin Yoga for a more passive practice, or Vinyasa to incorporate breath-to-movement.

Floor Movement 

Who knew rolling around on the floor could feel so good! (And it’s totally not weird). Allowing your body to move organically on the floor and bringing fluid movement to your spine and joints feels so liberating! You are only as young as your spine is flexible so invite in playfulness to open up. Try flexing, releasing, bending, flowing and rolling in any way that feels juicy and right.

Wall Handstands

Okay, so this one is a little livelier! But if you wake up and really want to tap into that energy source, get inverted! The fresh flow of blood will improve your circulation and the muscle activation will get your heart rate up and really get you going! I enjoying doing wall drills, facing the wall while inverted and allowing the support of the wall to help me find a strong and steady line. Then hold, breathe, and come down gently and enjoy the rush of energy.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your morning practice! It’s such a wonderful self-care routine. 🌞💚

Want to incorporate more movement into your life? I’d love to help you plan and establish a loving daily practice. Feel free to reach out and we can make movement a priority in your life!

Yogafireflow@gmail.com

Love & [Fire] Light! 💖🔥

Brittany

 

*Disclaimer on the coffee comment: Well, that is like, my opinion, man. (said in the voice of ‘The Dude’ in “The Big Lebowski”)😂😂

 

📸 by the incredible @brandonplantz – Check out his work: brandonplantzmedia.com