Letter of Love: 2019 Brings The Light

“May the long time sun shine upon you.
All love surround you and the pure light within you,
guide your way on.”


I am grateful for each and everyone of you. A BIG thank you for coming to my classes, workshops, retreats, seeing me for one-on-one training, sending me your friends, sharing my posts, giving me feedback, writing testimonials, sharing your precious time, your growth, your dedication, your love of learning, your hugs, your ups and downs, your expertise and your light!

Every time I teach, I learn. I learn from each and everyone of you. I am committed to continuing my growth as a teacher in order to give you the highest quality training and coaching. YOU inspire me to seek out the top educators in the field of health/ fitness and well-being.

May 2019 be a year that continues to ask us to be our better selves, may we inspire each other through our actions of self-care, self- love and ultimately service to the greater good of humanity. Below are some upcoming retreats and workshops in 2019. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

With a Grateful Heart,

Lila

Letter of Love: Slowly We Go

Life moves pretty fast.

If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

-Ferris Bueller

When is the last time you stopped in the moment of doing something and realized you were somewhere else entirely? For me it was yesterday. My daughter was telling me a story about something she did at school. I was busy looking for something, while I was also trying to text someone and jot something down on a list before I forgot it.… I mumbled to her, “uh-huh…” She didn’t fall for it. ”MOM!” she yelled. “Are you even listening to me?”

Now, I’m a person who prides myself on taking the time to listen - it’s how I best serve my clients… so this shook me a bit- and it’s not the first time.

I responded, ”Sorry, honey. I wasn’t. Can you tell me again? Please?” I stopped multitasking and sat down in front of her to listen.

We rush. We rush as a culture. We rush to talk. We rush to get it all done. We rush to accomplish and achieve. We rush to feel better. We rush so much that these moments tend to slip by us.

I do believe that one of our greatest gifts as humans is our presence to one another. Especially now. This requires one main ingredient: slowing down. Slowing down to enjoy it, to taste it, to hear that which is being said, to feel and emphasize. Slowing down enough to do the right thing (like taking your own bags to the store, stopping to ask “do I really need this,” to open the door for someone).

Slowing down to listen to our bodies. These bodies that have an endless source of energy and knowledge to offer us. We just have to pay attention. Movement and breath are some of the best tools to bring us back to the moment.

This year, my goal is to slow down long enough to enjoy it. Will you join me?

Below I’m sharing my gratitude list. I spend about 5 minutes every morning writing down what I am grateful for. I invite you to practice this with your loved one’s this holiday. Share with each other three things you are grateful for.

I would love to hear how you slow down, take time, listen. Please reach out. I promise to write back.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In endless gratitude,
Lila

STRAIGHT FROM MY GRATITUDE JOURNAL:

  • My daughter and her sweetness

  • Hot tea in the morning

  • A good night’s sleep

  • My job and the freedom it allows me

  • My sisters and nephews

  • Early mornings

  • Help and love from friends and family

  • My bodies ability to heal

  • Quiet mornings to myself

  • Exploring new movement and places

  • The growth relationships bring

  • Good food

  • My clients

  • Water

  • Clean air

  • Workout sessions

  • Patience

  • New beginnings

Letter of Love: Falling In

And one day. 
You’re just standing there. 
When your jaw softens. 
And you realize you’re no longer the same as when you first walked in
.
- Danielle Doby

What is a story if not told? What is life if not shared? Our past is part of who we are today. Through sharing ourselves we give the gift of closeness, of connection. Here’s a little glimpse into my past and some of the factors that have influenced the work that I do and who I am today. I am a movement educator.

I am passionate about creating a safe, fun environment for my clients to learn. I am committed to living a life that is from the heart and I infuse my teaching with presence and love. Movement is vital to a healthy life. I love teaching and helping my clients find their inner and outer strength. I believe that doing good in the world is greatly dependent on how we feel in our bodies. During retreats, my greatest joy is bringing people together in community, in solidarity, a place where people can let go of the outer pressures of the world and discover a bit of childlike wonder again.

My name is Lila. It is a Sanskrit word meaning “the divine play of life.” Many cultures believe that your name is literally who you are to become in life. I was born at home under a full moon in January.

I am the middle child of two sisters. We were raised in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon, in a small alternative community called Takilma.

I spent my summers outside, mostly barefoot and running free; riding bikes, swimming and climbing trees with my sisters. Being active was a natural part of our lives.

My family lived in a one bedroom cabin and had an outside shower and an out house (toilet) for many years. My parents had a strong vision for our family and worked hard to make that happen. They built us a beautiful home, gardens to grow our food and - yes - indoor bathrooms. I saw early on what it means to work hard towards your goals, to be a true pioneer an entrepreneur.

The first time I entered public school was in 8th grade. Before that, I had gone to a Seventh Day Adventist school, a community school and was homeschooled.

My parents taught me meditation, chanting, yoga and various religious beliefs, specifically Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, paganism and Christianity. A common mantra in our house was, “love all, serve all.” My sisters and I are all in the service fields.

I now see that this eclectic background and exposure to different religions and viewpoints is why I do not subscribe to one ideology about movement. Each of us is unique and I believe there is not one “right” way to heal or to move - exercise.

If you had told me then that I would teach for a living, I never would have believed you. I didn’t like being the center of attention or being watched. I went to school late every Friday, for a whole year, so that I wouldn’t have to give a speech. As I grew into my teens, I started taking dance classes - everything from West African dance to modern dance and ballet. It was then that I fell in love with movement, with music, with dancing, and with the cultures associated with them.

I was first exposed to Pilates in 1999 after a car accident when I was 19 and it greatly helped my recovery from whiplash and a concussion.

In 2000, I joined a dance company in Oakland, The Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble, which led me to Salvador, Bahia Brazil, where I studied dance for two years.  While I was in Brazil I took my first Pilates training. Pilates changed how I danced. I finally understood what my center was! I became stronger and more confident in my body. I was hooked.

I knew I wanted to bring my passion for movement to a field where I could help others feel this way as well.

My practice of dance, meditation, Pilates and Yoga have given me the tools to take steps towards my dream of creating retreats. My goal with retreats is to create experiences where people learn to feel strong and free in their bodies and experience connection to all that is. My own health and well-being (self-care), my fitness goals to be stronger, braver and more capable as I age, have all been great motivators along the way to help me bring inspiration and success to my clients.

I’m learning every day with every body that I work with. Each client, each group of people teaches me something new.

I love to hear from you. I look forward to seeing you soon in class, on retreat, or in an upcoming workshop!

In Love and Movement,

Lila

Letter of Love: The Balance Game

Make your
Growth sustainable
By moving at a pace
That is challenging.
But not overwhelming.

-yung pueblo


Everyday I hear from clients the challenges they go through in order to try to find balance in their lives. 

I too, aim to find the balance point where everything is in perfect order. 

My idea of a balanced day looks something like this: I work out, meditate, journal, make dinner, pack my daughter a perfect lunch, communicate and listen, call mom, call dad, get 8 hours of sleep, call my closet girlfriends and make a date with them, clean the house, shop, and work a full day. It’s overwhelming and honestly, sometimes I just want to cry. But then I hear my mom’s voice, “Lila, it’s just one day. Do your best. That’s all you can do, and try to simplify and prioritize. And do what feels good! Life is to short not to.” Thanks mom!

Balance in the body is not somewhere you finally get to, but an action that is ever evolving and requires many systems of the body to work together. 

It is always moving and changing. 

Closing our eyes, standing on one foot, and walking are all balancing acts. There is a wobble, an unsteady feeling at times. Then for a brief moment you find it - the balance point.  Until you add another challenge and have to navigate all over again.

The reality is that life is a balancing act.

 It’s not somewhere or something we may ever truly arrive at. 

An exercise to decrease anxiety around finding balance:
write down what your expectations for the day or week are. 
Be explicit about your idea of balance so you can get a good look at it. 
Try writing down the things that help you to feel balanced on a daily basis. 
Choose one. 
Do that. 
And as always, acknowledge your efforts. The brain likes rewards. So don’t forget to pause and treat yourself too!

I would love to hear from you, your thoughts, comments, topics you want to hear more about. Reach out. 

I look forward to seeing you at one of my upcoming retreats, classes, and workshops.

In love and movement,

Lila

2018 Brings The Light

“May the long time sun shine upon you.
All love surround you and the pure light within you,
guide your way on.”

 
I am grateful for each and everyone of you. A BIG thank you for coming to my classes, workshops, retreats, seeing me for one-on-one training, sending me your friends, sharing my posts, giving me feedback, writing testimonials, sharing your precious time, your growth, your dedication, your love of learning, your hugs, your ups and  downs, your expertise and your light!  
 
Every time I teach, I learn. I learn from each and everyone of you. I am committed to continuing my growth as a teacher/trainer/ movement coach in order to give you the highest quality training and coaching. YOU inspire me to seek out the top educators in the field of health/fitness and well-being.
 
May 2018 be a year that continues to ask us to be our better selves; may we inspire each other through our actions of self-care, self-love and ultimately service to the greater good of humanity. Below are some upcoming retreats and workshops in 2018. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.
 
With a Grateful Heart,
Lila

Letter of Love: THANK YOU!

“May the long time sun shine upon you.

All love surround you and the pure light within you,

guide your way on.”

This is a thank you letter. I am grateful for each and everyone of you.  A BIG thank you for coming to my classes, workshops, retreats, seeing me for one on one training, sending me your friends, sharing my posts, giving me feedback, writing testimonials, sharing your precious time, your growth, your dedication, your love of learning, your hugs, your ups and  downs, your expertise and your light!  

Every time I teach I learn.  I learn from each and everyone of you.  I am committed to continuing my growth as a teacher/trainer/ movement coach in order to give you the highest quality training and coaching.  YOU inspire me to seek out the top educators in the field of health/ fitness and well-being.

 May 2017 be a year that continues to ask us to be our better selves, may we inspire each other through our actions of self-care, self- love and ultimately service to the greater good of humanity. Below are some upcoming retreats and workshops in 2017. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

 With a Grateful Heart,

Lila

Tools to stay Grounded in Ungrounded Times

...After all, it is the root that looks after the survival of an organism. It is the root that has withstood severe changes in climatic conditions. And it is the root that has regrown trunks time and time again. It is in the roots that centuries of experiences are stored, and it is this experience that has allowed the tree’s survival to the present day.
- Excerpt from The Hidden life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
 

How do you regrow? What are your roots? How do you stay grounded in turbulent times, in times of calm and the times in between.  What are the tools that help you to feel connected? Feeling connected, rooted, grounded, belonging… all stem to this idea of having roots. In a conceptual way we are all connected in our human - ness. Yep, we are human. And that is what is. We need water, food, love, touch, air and movement in order to survive and thrive here on planet earth.
 
We are alive now. These are turbulent times in many many ways. Some of the things that unground  us are: self- criticism, trying too hard, taking on more than we can handle, social media, politics, news, un-restful sleep, unhealthy food choices, too much sitting, worry and anxiety to name a few. And guess what, often we are affected by some combination of these things. I find it is important not to beat myself up, but rather have some solid tools I can rely on to pull me back to center. Back to my roots. 
 
Here are my top 10
1. Consciously breathing
Practice Counting breath:

  • Breathe in for 3-6 counts filling up from the belly to the collar bones
  • Hold the breath for 3-6 counts (staying relaxed is key- if you notice you are over tensing as you hold please hold for less counts!)
  • Exhale 3-6 counts
  • Hold the breath out 3-6 counts (again without tension)
  • Work your way up slowly. If you do not have a breath practice already start with 3 counts on each cycle of breath. 
  • Repeat about 5-8 times.

2. Slowing down: it’s the little things… taking the time to chew your food, drinking a cup of tea for 5 minutes, practice active listening, strength train slowly
3. Yoga
4. Standing/ walking on the earth barefoot 
5. Being in nature in silence
6. Hugs for at least 20 seconds
7. Meditation 
8. Taking a social media break
9. Eating whole fresh foods (ideally from your local farm) the nutrients in freshly harvested food will give your body a boost of alive-ness and grounding
10. Saying no when asked to do one more thing that even if sounding good would really just tip us over
 
Try out some of the tools above and see if they help.
 
We must do our practices - root ourselves - ground ourselves so that we can shine our light out into the world. This world needs you and me to be our best kindest, warm hearted humans that we can be. What are the ways in which you stay grounded, that help you to show up as the bad-ass loving human you are?
 
Please stay in touch. 
 
I wish you all a beautiful grounding summer and hope to see you soon! 
 
With utmost gratitude,
Lila

Letter of Love: No one is YOU …and that is your power.

We make our way. Some of us make our way loudly, some softly, some you barely hear. Some of us take the path of least resistance, some leap into the fire. Some grow tired, some grow awake. Some of us prefer a few friends, while others invite the world to know us. Some of us reveal our feelings easily, while others keep them close. Some focus on the world, while others focus on themselves.

We make our way in a thousand different ways. There are differences in how we do this, and also commonalities that bind us together.  

I make my way through movement, connecting with nature and people. I make my way drinking a cup of tea and holding hands. I make my way by bringing people together to share being alive in our bodies. I make my way as a mother, a teacher, a sister, a daughter and a truth seeker.

However you make your way, do it with love.

Love always,

Lila

 

Letter of Love: Kindness is contagious.

Be quick to smile

It will likely be passed on

Kindness spreads like fire.

A Haiku (inspired by my father’s daily Haikus)

I recently, like most days, was caught driving home at rush hour. Rushing to get back to pick up my daughter. I wasn’t alone. Instead of the usual get out of MY way sort of attitude, I tried kindness. It was contagious. I pulled too far into the crosswalk. A woman was crossing; I looked at her, smiled and backed out of the crosswalk; she smiled back the sweetest smile. A biker saw, he smiled and waved too. I pulled forward in hopes that someone would let me in to the long line of cars, in which the drivers were looking straight ahead and trying not to make eye contact. Then a woman in the car directly in front of me, who had witnessed the earlier interaction, leaned forward to look at me waved and smiled and motioned me in front of her.

This winter with the shorter darker days, the stress and cheer of the holidays, try kindness. Kindness to yourself, when you lose your patience. Kindness to loved ones when they fail your expectations. Kindness to strangers who are yet to be known.  I will practice with you. We can together create a world where kindness is the first act.  Remember that it is indeed contagious. Do you have a story where you witnessed one person in a line of angry or stressed people being kind? Was it you? What was the impact? Please share, I would love to hear.

Committed in love,
Lila


In this time we more than ever need to be with each other, hear each other, breathe together and move together. I look forward to being together soon in a retreat, class or workshop.

Letter of Love: Lessons from Retreats & Tips to Connect

How bold one gets, when one is sure of being loved.

-Sigmund Freud

I just recently returned from leading my annual Pilates and Yoga Retreat in Mexico at Mar De Jade Retreat Center.  It is hard to capture, in words, the magic that happens in this week.  As I reflect, I hear the words of one of my guests; “Lila, I woke up today and I am not experiencing any pain in my body and I am so happy and relaxed. Along with the movement practice we are doing, I feel so connected to all the women here, I haven’t felt this way in a long time...”

To be a happy healthy human we need connection, we need the loving caring listening of others, and we absolutely need to feel a connection to community. When we don’t, we can feel pain, unhappiness and  feel that we are alone.

We were designed to move, be a part of a tribe and connected to nature. When we live by how we were designed we feel less pain, we experience happiness; we feel alive again.

In this fast paced life we have created we often go against the design. This disconnection lends itself to dis-ease in the body, mind and spirit.  I was reminded of this on retreat and experienced the importance of connection through seeing it unfold before my eyes.
 

As long as we are alive, we can make daily choices to connect, to feel to fully live. 

Here are a few tips to connect:

  1. Go outside
  2. Open up the windows
  3. Put down or better yet unplug the devices for at least one hour a day - longer on weekends please
  4. Move your body everyday
  5. Take conscious breaths every hour
  6. Go to the farmers market and buy fresh farm grown produce
  7. Hug someone everyday for at least 20seconds
  8. Go on a retreat to reset
  9. Hold hands
  10. And my personal favorite hug a tree for at least 20seconds.. Yep thats right (;

With love Always,

Lila

Letter of Love: Participate relentlessly in the present

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

What does it take to show up fully in your life...to participate relentlessly in the present?

The here and now require a sort of deep comfort for feeling what you feel, letting the past be the past and the future be just that... the future.

We live in a world that is constantly distracting us from the present moment. This is partly self-inflicted, but creates a consistent challenge to remain present. 

It takes an ongoing practice to show up in the here and now. It's not always glamorous and doesn't always feel great, but it's the only chance we have at experiencing being fully alive.

Meditation helps-- just being quiet. Having a teacher, coach, or therapist can help clear the personal stories that you may not be fully aware of. Telling the truth. Dancing helps, movement helps, breathing helps, playing helps, laughing helps, holding hands and being surrounded by nature always helps.

And I am always practicing. 

When I pick my daughter up from school, I take a conscious breath. I see her. I look at her eyes. I look at her posture. I listen. I notice that when she knows I am truly listening and paying attention, her eyes sparkle a bit brighter and she smiles more easily. 

When my thoughts rush in with the "to do" list, I pause, take a breath, and start over.

Look. Listen. Feel. See her. Be here.

I don't want to miss life as it is happening. I practice this in many moments of my day. Our lives are miracles, and there is joy in relentlessly participating in its creation.

How do you participate fully in your life? I would love to hear how.

With love,
Lila