Full Moon No. 13, Winter
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Day 1 // Narrow Stance Deep Squat

Full squat with feet pressed together for at least one minute on a surface that warrants it.

Fit for the Real World

1 week, 7 natural movements, & a wealth of personal illuminations.

DISCLAIMER: this was my idea. As was the 21-day cold water challenge, and the outside time challenge. I tend to respond well to difficult experiences when framed as a challenge. That structure allows for me to hold myself accountable and keep my integrity in tact. 

MovNat, a leader in natural movement culture, proposed a movement challenge on Instagram as a personal gauge for how fit one is for the real world. FYI: the gym is not the real world. Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw their post about the challenge, and immediately tagged my wild woods man asking, "are you in?" Naturally, he was game, and so we began our #realitycheckchallenge alongside hundreds of other people all across globe on January 24th. 

Each day, for 7 days, MovNat posted a video of the day's natural movement, outside in the real world, inside of a gym, and a few ways to scale the movement. Each day, for 7 days, we made our way to Prospect Park to complete the day's movement challenge, recording to later post on Instagram. We specifically decided to scout out locations for these movement challenges outside, in the real world, to give ourselves the full reality check experience. Go big or go home! A pull up bar inside of a climate controlled gym provides a far different experience from a textured, uneven tree branch outside enduring, at times, nearly below freezing temps. And besides, we wanted to stack our movement, outside time, and cold exposure - this was a sure way to easily align these elements of our lifestyle design. You can watch our full #realitycheckchallenge journey by clicking on the images in this letter.

Click on the images to play our videos for each day's natural movement

Day 2 // Foot Hand Crawl

On a narrow surface no wider than 4 inches, crawl 16 ft using a contralateral pattern, maintaining a neutral spine, and no pausing. 

Day 3 // Deep Knee Bend to Flexed Foot Kneeling

From DKB, transition smoothly to FFK then back to DKB 3x, going no faster than 8 seconds each direction. 

Day 4 // Dead Hang to Leg Hook

Start in Dead Hang position and smoothly transition to the Leg Hook position on one side, come back to the Dead Hang and repeat on the other side. 5x each direction, for 10 total. 

Day 5 // Downward Jump to Split Landing

Jump down from at least 1 meter high onto a narrow object that forces you land with your feet in line. 3 reps, stick your landing.

Day 6 // Open Palm Power Up

5 reps on a wide surface you cannot grab with a regular closed grip.

Day 7 // Roll Up

5 reps, coming to a dead hang in between each. 
What I've realized, quite acutely, through this challenge, is the profound impact of my mindset. I get in my own way the most. Not my circumstances, but the way I approach them. 

I grew up with a lot of emphasis on the physical - subtle and not so subtle messages programming me to believe I won't measure up if I don't look or perform a certain way physically. I've had many a battle with my own negative self-talk when it comes to physical appearance, structure, and capabilities. I used to tear myself apart (figuratively speaking) for not living up to what I had been fed to choke down what was "physically desirable." You're not strong enough, not curvy enough, not symmetrical enough. I felt like my circumstances were limiting me to being all that I desired to be. Then I'd feel bad about desiring something more than what I am. "That's not very good #selflove," I would say to myself, and then beat myself up for not being loving, accepting, and compassionate towards myself. I've played both ends of the spectrum, and on each end lives a whole lotta excuses and self-victimization. But I'm not into playing the victim, anymore. It does nothing but continue to take your power away from you.

I'm sussing out my relationship to the physical. The desire to be something more than what I currently am, while holding space and love for where I'm currently at, without swinging too far in one direction of complacent apathy hidden in body positivity or the other end of self-loathing venom slowly poisoning my psyche. 

The greatest challenge of this #realitycheckchallenge was not attempting the physical movements. Sure, they were challenging in their own right...but nothing like the challenges I faced within my own psychology. My negative mindset was inhibiting me from giving it all I've got physically and taking away any enjoyment of the challenge. After a vulnerable conversation and some deep introspection, I decided to change things around for myself by shifting my mindset to one of perpetual growth and expansion into uncertainty rather than contracting into doubt, limitations, and a stunted, stagnant mindset. The next day, when it came time to do the movement challenge, it was like I was a different person having a completely new, much more playful, positive, and enjoyable relationship with the challenge and most importantly, with myself. 

You can change your mindset. Always. You have the power to turn things around. Flip the switch. Recalibrate your luminous architecture. Realign your mind, body, and spirit. Ground and center into your being. 

Doing the hard thing. It puts things into perspective. But you have to keep doing the hard thing to remind yourself all that you're capable of. We forget our greatness far too much of the time. 

With that being said, my dear readers, I now challenge you to the #realitycheckchallenge! Try out one, a few, or all seven days of the challenge and be sure to follow and tag @groundandcenter when posting the videos on Instagram so we can see who's participating - one of you brave souls will randomly be selected to receive a free Luminous Elixirs Winter Essence Bath Salt to help soothe those sore, reality-checked bodies ;) 

Remember, as much as this challenge lands in the physical body, let it be an illuminating experience for your mental and emotional bodies as well. Take inventory and see what needs work. Do the hard thing, and let your perspectives realign. 
Luminous love,
Pop Up Couples Yoga Workshop
Saturday Feb. 10th 7pm - 8:15pm @ Sonic Yoga

LOVERS - join me next month for a very special pop-up couple's yoga class! We'll heat things up in the yoga studio by movin' and groovin' to a curated playlist including songs like PJ Harvey's "This Is Love" a la vinyasa yoga style. After we've lit the spark of internal fire, prepare to get nice and cozy as I lead you through a loving sequence of restorative yoga poses. Luminous Elixirs is releasing TWO limited edition Lover's products next month, and you can bet I'll be incorporating them into the class. You'll also walk away with a free sample to share at home. Then, continue the love fest with everyone at Ardesia Wine Bar. Limited to 10 couples to keep things intimate - this will sell out, so be sure to secure your spot ASAP if this is something you want to experience with your lover. 

Click here for more information & tickets
Women's Winter Womb - A Gathering
Thursday Feb. 15th 7pm - 9pm in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Connect with me for location address

Sliding scale $10 - $20 (cash or PayPal), all materials provided

Gathering in sacred circle sisterhood, to create a space within the depth of winter's cradling womb to explore, honor, and ultimately, release the "deaths" or dark times along your lifeline. Opening the circle with intention, sharing, and connection to breath and body through gentle movement. Discussing the concept of disconsos, mentioned in the book "Women Who Run With the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. No need to have read this book to join. We will then embody this practice of disconsos through a simple art project. Closing the circle with an element of restorative yoga and energy work. Nourishing snacks and tea post practice to continue to integrate the work and cultivate connections with other women. 

Let's be luminous together!
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