5 Tips for Your 30 Day Yoga Challenge

It seems like everywhere I turn I see my  friends, family, and students heading to their “30 Day Yoga Challenge” mats committing and recommitting themselves to a disciplined practice. I say bravo to that and welcome to the party! Now, how do you stick to it? Well, here are a few tips:

1. Find a studio OR skip the studio. There are so many options for where and how you can practice yoga these days. Check out your local studios to see if they offer any 30 Day New Student special pricing or if you’ve already been practicing there, see if they have any deals for your month intensive. But, if for some reason you can’t make it to a studio or at some point would like a more intimate practice at home, check out free online videos or virtual classes on YouTube (Here’s my quick Sun Salutation breakdown for Navafit.com, to get you started) or sites like YogaGlo or YogaVibes. If you’re new to yoga, I do recommend finding a live, certified yoga instructor to help you safely move and breathe into your practice.

2. One. Day. At. A. Time. Yoga is all about being in the moment. So really each day is the “challenge”, right? To show up one day, is to have practiced a lifetime. So enjoy each opportunity to roll out your mat and forget about day 30.

3. Remember there’s more to yoga than a pose. It can be easy to define yoga based on what we see on magazines, blogs, numerous selfies of yogis and yoginis in mind-boggling poses (guilty!), but there’s so much more to this practice then asanas (the poses).  Try incorporating breath work (pranayama) and stillness (meditation) into your daily practice. And if the idea of sitting still as a yoga practice makes you want to itch, scream, sneeze, run for the hills, then check out my 5-Minute Yoga Challenge for a starter.

4. Be a part of the yoga community. “We’re in this together!” I like to say. So why not share your energy and your growing practice with the rest of the world. Check out the local free classes in the park. Maybe attend your first kirtan at your local yoga studio. Explore the great blogs and online chats on the practice. Engage others and see how that comes right back to you and your yoga in the best of ways.

5. Remember why you started. And, remember it’s yoga, so chill. So what if you miss a day. Get back on your mat with love of self and a new breath. Nobody’s grading you except for you and the silly ego so forget about it. It’s not important. The “challenge” is to show up and allow. Be gentle with yourself. This is not a competition and there are no medals. So, as I said before, chill and just do your yoga.

If you’re headed to a studio class, Click Here to see my schedule.

Lunch with Chef Jean Luc Taulare @ Coco Loco Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

I’m a bit yummy food focused in my blogs of late. Maybe it’s because my next retreat is coming up AND I’ll be starting Chef’s Training in August. Yippee on both of those notes!

I’m still and with yoga breath (sometimes bated breath I’ll admit) awaiting the real arrival of spring in New York, so a nice reminisce on warmer times, with delicious food, in a spectacular place, with yogi and yogini foodies, can’t hurt right? Ok, great. Glad you agree. Here you go!

During our last Fall retreat, our Chef Jean-Luc Taulare invited us to share lunch at another of his restaurants, Coco Loco in Playa Flamingo. The restaurant sits right on the beach with an insane view of the Pacific. And of course, the simple, light, fresh fare that Jean-Luc and his crew offers is out of this world (That thing in the coconut shell + the just made mango and coconut ice cream. Jai!). I would expect nothing less from him.

Our drive from Tamarindo to breathtaking Flamingo Beach took us only about 25 minutes. The food, the company, and the view…Pura Vida! I could say more, but I’ll let the pics from my Bruce Almighty below speak for themselves.

We’ll see you soon Playa Flamingo!

bytracye yoga.yummy food retreat haven Costa Rica, August 22nd-26th @ Puro Dieces Tamarindo. Click here to get the details and to take advantage of Early Bird registration (ends April 25th).

Welcome to haven.

Photo Credit: Bruce Dunkins Photography

A Yogini and Her Farmer’s Market

I’m a New York yogini foodie who loves her farmer’s market! Although I frequent many of the GrowNYC GreenMarket Farmers’ Markets, I will go the extra mile to grab my favorites, find something new to try, people watch (See photos. It’s just so much!), and check out felt pigeon artwork (Again, see photos. Oh, how I love thee New York!) at the Union Square Market. Plus, we get to chat up our new and old farmer friends.

It’s still a bit chilly in New York, so coats, jackets, boots were still in effect, but it was a fun, fruitful day nonetheless. NOTE: This wasn’t necessarily a planned photo shoot (Arrrrgh! Can’t a girl put on some lip gloss at least?!), but it soon became one thanks to Bruce Almighty and Sasha. I’m glad it did. Love a day at the market!

Photo Credit: Bruce Dunkins Photography

How to sail into the life you deserve…

Last month, Bruce and I headed back to Tamarindo, Costa Rica for an all too quick four days to prepare for our upcoming bytracye yoga.yummy food retreat “haven” and to meet and sail with our new friends at Antares Sailing Adventures for a fabulous sunset cruise out of Tamarindo Bay.

It got me thinking yet again how much my life has changed over the past few years. I mean a successful corporate training VP, turned yoga teacher/foodie/yogini-chef-to-be/entrepreneur in Costa Rica for four days on a “business” trip, sailing with my love, being served the freshest and the most incredible delectables, being serenaded by a classical acoustic guitarist, frolicking in the Pacific Ocean, and basically living La Pura Vida. Not bad at all.

So, how am I doing all of this? Believe me, sometimes I shake my head and ask myself that question. Well, it’s kind of like setting sail with Antares…

1) Get to it already! Book it, reserve it, sign on the dotted line and decide that you’ve decided. I can’t tell you how many of my family, friends, and students say “I wish I could travel the world but…”, “Someday I’ll…”, “That’s the life, but I can’t afford…” My answer? “We do exactly what we want to do in this life. Set your intention and practice living the life you dream, one day, one thing, one goal, one fancy yoga pose, one breath at a time. Oh, and just do it!”

2) Set sail with the best. This isn’t a newsflash, right? Find the winners, the growers, the most passionate and successful people, the most dedicated and disciplined yogis, the people who serve their bodies by nourishing it with beautiful, fresh, whole foods, the movers and the shakers, the global citizens, and those who are on their “p’s” & “q’s” serving the world with their greatest talents. Grab an oar and get in their boat now! We all know that saying “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” by Jim Rohn. So, make sure your boat is filled with rock stars, all rowing in the same direction.

3) Eat what delights and nourishes… You are what you eat, right? So why not eat gorgeous food that makes you feel and look fabulous? It’s all about choices. Would you rather eat something that’s vibrant, delicious, well prepared (or raw even) and delights your taste buds? Or, not.

4)…so that you have the energy to jump into the deep end when it’s time. To live the life you deserve you’ve got to have not only the mindset, but the energy to manifest and do the things that scare the crap out of you. A well nourished (and yoga’d) body helps to produce the energy you need to get up, each day and go get that life you imagine.

5) Use floaties. I learned to swim as a kid, but in swimming pools, not the ocean. So, when I finally took my first dive into the drink, I was like “Whoa! This is a lot of work!” Now, I don’t mind hard work, but I absolutely, 100% believe in the mantra “Work smarter, not harder.”, and so if there’s an opportunity to get to the same lovely ending, with an easy steady breath, a focused, mindful intention with the support of others, I’m all over it. And, here’s the thing. We’re in this together, so grab ahold of your floaties and take a break from that breast stroke every once and while.

4) Help others when they get seasick…There we were, enjoying our pineapple and the scenery, and this couple comes walking toward where we’re sitting. She’s super green. Seasick! Turns out, she’s a yoga instructor (I promise, we totally gravitate towards each other!) from Canada. So, as her head is slung over the bow, losing her cookies, I’m holding her hair, rubbing her back, and breathing with her. We’re rowing this boat together sister! It is our duty to help others along the way; to encourage, to soothe, to guide. It brightens their path and our own.

5) …so they can help you when you’re seasick. So ten minutes later I’m green and everyone is rubbing my back. What goes around comes around, so create the best karma you can. You’ll need it!

6) Be sure to watch the sunset.  I’ve seen some pretty amazing sunsets. And, they never get old. We can easily get so caught up in the ego dramas of life, trying to get into that one bound pose, the daily hustle of family and work, and the constant noise that we miss all of the magical things that happen every single second. You’re sailing on the ocean of this magnificent life. Put down the oars, gather with the people you love (or like a lot), and take it all in. You deserve it!

Thanks to Antares Sailing and Bruce Dunkins Photography!

Join us in Costa Rica at bytracye yoga.yummy food retreat “haven”, August 22nd-26th

Book today. Early Bird Registration ends April 25th. Space is limited.

Casa Puro Dieces – haven Accommodations

Puro Dieces, translated “Pure Tens”, is a modern marvel nestled on the Tamarindo hillside. With its Pacific Rim tropical design and Balinese inspired architecture, it helps to conjure the “Pura Vida” way of life and serves as the ideal setting to immerse yourself in the bytracye haven retreat experience.

Eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms, open-air patios, infinity pool, chef grade kitchen and prep-kitchen, day bed and massage lounge overlooking a sweet koi fish pond, and so much more to this gorgeous villa make indoor/outdoor living a way of life at Puro Dieces. And then there’s the view! At haven, you will lounge, practice asana, meditate and sip cool drinks by the pool and roof deck and be completely hypnotized by the mesmerizing sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It does not get old.

I fell head over heels in love with this villa and knew it was perfect when I saw it. And now, we are honored to share it with you. Welcome to haven.

Retreat will include:

• Premier concierge service
• Morning & sunset yoga and meditation classes bytracye (All levels)
• Private yoga consultations, instruction and practice resources
• Three customized, gourmet, locally sourced meals per day featuring world-class haven private chef Jean-Luc Taulare*
• Fresh cooking demonstrations
• Costa Rican raw chocolate making workshop by internationally acclaimed chocolate maker, Henrik Bodholdt
• Massage
• Group Excursions & Activities
• Private Local Transportation
• Private Costa Rica Airport Transfers**

*Alcoholic beverages not included

**Airfare not included.

Sample Daily Schedule

Pre-Yoga Early Morning Coffee/Tea, Fruit Smoothies & Pressed Juices @ Poolside

Morning Yoga Practice @ Poolside

Communal Breakfast @ Poolside

Group Excursion or Workshop/Demonstration or Yogi Foodie’s Choice

Group Lunch Excursion

Sunset Restorative/Meditation Practice @ Poolside or Roof Deck

Communal Dinner @ Poolside

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION (Ends April 25th, 2015)

• Master Suite – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $3000 per person
• Premier Double Share – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $2750 per person
• Couple Share – Partial Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $2200 per person
• Couple Jr. Suite – Ocean View (2 Guests Minimum) $2525 per person
• Double Yogi Share (2 Guests Minimum) $1950 per person
• Single (1 Guest Maximum) $2650 per person

Registration after April 25th

• Master Suite – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $3300 per person
• Premier Double Share – Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $3050 per person
• Couple Share – Partial Ocean View/Poolside (2 Guests Minimum) $2500 per person
• Couple Jr. Suite – Ocean View (2 Guests Minimum) $2825 per person
• Double Yogi Share (2 Guests Minimum) $2250 per person
• Single (1 Guest Maximum) $2950

Payment Options:

Payment in full at time of booking

or

50% of retreat balance due at time of booking; remaining balance due by May 29th, 2015. Contact tracye@bytracye.com to reserve with this option.

Space is limited. Click here to register today!