Two summers ago, I decided to climb Cucamonga Peak by myself because I needed space from myself. I was dating two great guys at the time (one of which is now my husband), and I grew tired of the constant juggle. I was experiencing dating burnout, and I needed a healthy outlet to just be outside my head for a while. To quiet my monkey mind, I came up with two strategies. I could either a) sit still and meditate or b) hike 12 grueling miles and not die doing it.
It’s almost cliché by now, “Follow your dreams!” “Take the risk!,” “Quit your day job and travel the world.” The prevalence of these messages has been rising along with the popularity of social media. You can’t swing a dead cat without finding a Pinterest-esque mug without one of these inspirational quotes. I think it’s terrible advice and yet…
And yet… here I am, doing exactly just that.
One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is its proximity to so much natural beauty. Drive an hour south and you’ll hit the beaches of Orange County. Head east and the mountains and deserts will greet you. Make your way up north and you’ll find the majestic mountains of the Sierras. There’s never a shortage of adventures waiting around the corner.
In yoga, there’s a space in which every yogi is encouraged to enter. Every pose can be modified to either intensify or simplify. When arriving in a yoga position, all yogis, regardless of experience level, is encouraged to meet their edge, to find that delicate sweet spot in which the pose is fierce and challenging yet comfortable enough that the yogi remains complete control of their breath and the asana retains its full integrity. Holding an asana and learning to lean in to the discomfort when your legs are burning, your arms are shaking, and your mind is running and collecting every reason to convince you to unravel out of the pose is one of the biggest challenges I have while practicing but also the same reason why I keep coming back to my mat.
1) Live off-campus while attending college/not borrow massive student loans
College is not cheap. I graduated from UCLA in 2013 and earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. I can honestly say that it is the single most expensive piece of paper I own, and in order to afford said diploma, I did two things: lived off-campus and worked two jobs while attending school.