Yoga Taught Me – Part Two

Ever since I got back from my recent trip to Hong Kong I’ve been feeling quite off; Let’s be honest I’ve been having a heaviness/stiffness over me for a while now. I feel like I’m stuck just going through the motions but even worse I’ve been an emotional wreck. When I’m not feeling the best I kind of always force myself to be active, so last night I decided at the last moment to go to a yin yoga class. A little backstory for about a year plus now I’ve been dealing with left hip pain and mobility issues. With that being said certain yoga poses are limited or downright painstaking. So I arrive at the class unroll my mat, settle in, and BAMM the instructors first pose is a hip opener. She literally went right in – no fourplay, no lube, no small talk to ease me into this moment of high discomfort. The thing with yin classes is that it is all about letting go and allowing gravity to pull you deeper into a pose, no resistance just complete surrender. So as my stiff body is trying to breathe through the pain, it hits me that this has been me in real life. I have such an underlining fear of being hurt and uncomfortable that I create resistance to the unknown, yet I wasn’t always this way. Somehow this limited range of (e)motion seems safer than flowing past my self created threshold of comfort. Encouraged by the instructor, in this class that I now see is all hip opening, I acknowledge the sensations and discomforts and I let go. I let go – first of the fear of being uncomfortable and then I let go of the idea that pain was restricting me. I was restricting myself. As I overcame my fear and stopped resisting discomfort I was delivered to a deeper less uncomfortable space. I could literally feel my hips gently opening up, tissue releasing itself. I began to cry. Tears for keeping myself bound up like this. Tears for all the fears and lies I told myself. But most importantly tears knowing that I am and can break down these emotional and physical barriers I placed on myself.

Mind, body, soul – a unit. When there is dis-ease in one they all suffer, yet when there is peace with one they all find peace. Currently working to find peace and freedom within my unit. May peace be with all of you. 🙂

American Art, a True Portrait of History?

Throughout history art always was a means to delve into the eras that passed. Revealing to us what everyday life was like, the struggles, the triumphs, the matters that the people of that time period held dear to their heart. However the one thing that holds consistently true within history is that only one voice or portrait is typically worthy of capturing in history books and in art; and that is the voice of the group in power. So what happens to the stories of those not in power? Are they left among the dust and debris of their time period?

I recently read somewhere that history is the art of storytelling; so like any story there are multiple versions and depictions. The book “A People’s History of the United States” is written with the purpose of showing history from the eyes of not only those in power but from the eyes of its subject. Oppressor vs Oppressed. I am in love with that concept. How amazing would it be to walk into a museum and see that very concept depicted in visual art form. Art that allows the viewer to create their own conclusions and deductions of history, but also presents them with the opportunity to place themselves in the lineage of that history. A curation that is truthful and representative of all; That is true history.

Recently I documented my experience of visiting mainstream art museums in the USA. This is what I had to say:

 

What are your thoughts? How can we create a curated art series that is representative of all?

Natural at Home Cold Remedies

Ooohh baby it’s cold outside, and with the change of weather comes the winter bugs. Coughs, stuffy noses, sore throats; you get the gist. Our first inclination when we notice the first signs of a cold is to reach for over the counter cold meds. If you are like me these only seem to make matters worse. Cue foggy head and sometimes even more congestion than at the onset. I also detest taking any medication period as I feel like most medicine simply masks versus cure our ailments. After all big pharma is one of the largest global industries right up there with oil ( but we will save that discussion for another time). So if I don’t take over the counter medications what do I do? I reach for nature’s goodness. Hippocrates put it best – Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food. After research and trial and error here are my top three home remedies for the common cold.

Garlic Cayenne Cold Remedy Mary Chryston

  1. Hot Like Fire – This is the drink to make when you are full into cold and flu symptoms. The first time I made this drink it instantly warmed by body; I can’t lie I was taken aback at first. But not even two hours later I literally started feeling so much better. So here’s what you beautiful people need.

1 half of a lemon squeezed

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tsp of finely minced garlic ( the finer you mince it the easier it will absorb in your body)

3/4 cup of hot water

Combine all ingredients, and enjoy. As a reminder garlic responds differently in everyone’s digestive system. You may experience a slight burning but don’t be alarmed it’s just doing what it needs to do.

Cold Remedy Mary Chryston

2. Smooth Spice – This is the drink to offer you smoothing results. Sore throat, cough, congestion, maybe just starting to feel a little icky this is the drink for you. Coconut oil a prominent ingredient in this drink is a natural antiviral, immunity booster, helps regulate blood sugar, and even increases mental alertness.

1 Tbs of unrefined coconut oil

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of wild honey

1 cup of hot water

Combine all ingredients and sip slowly to let it fully soothe you.

Golden Milk - Mary Chryston

3. Golden Milk – This is a classic immunity booster and detoxifier. It is packed with antioxidants and helps soothe the digestive track. This is great to drink at the first sign of a cold and can even be enjoyed daily maybe before bed as its ingredients aid in relaxation and stress reduction. The flavor is similar to a chai tea latte.

2 cups of almond or coconut milk

1 tsp of turmeric

3/4 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp of ginger powder or a pinch of fresh minced ginger root

Dash of freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp of wild honey or high quality maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot (do not boil) and serve immediately. If too spicy for your taste you can eliminate the cayenne pepper. It can also be blended in a food processor before heating to provide a creamier frothy texture. Enjoy.

These beverages can be enjoyed up to twice a day. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Also try to avoid any processed white foods while you are fighting a cold. That includes: sugar, flour, and milk. These foods increase inflammation in the body and your body needs all its energy to focus on fighting the virus. Whole foods are always a great idea. I hope these tips help. And as a reminder I am not a licensed physician these are merely suggestions. Please seek necessary medical attention as you see fit.

Good health to you all 🙂

 

The Ultimate Workout Versatility

First off let me say that this is not an Ad.  I genuinely am in love with ClassPass. If you have not heard of this before let me introduce you. ClassPass is a monthly membership program that allows you to go to various fitness classes throughout the month. Imagine being able to choose from classes like kickboxing, hot yoga, crossfit, pole dancing, spin, and the list goes on. Every month you are given a set amount of points to use at your discretion. If you run out you can always purchase more points. You can even use ClassPass while traveling to a different states so there is no excuse. Variety and ease of use with ClassPass gives me the ability to keep my workouts interesting.

I love incorporating group fitness into my normal exercise routine for a few reasons:

  1. Group environments bring out my competitive nature, it pushes me a little more than when working out alone (especially in a boot camp class).
  2. I learn new techniques to use on my own and with the assistance of instructors I make improvements on my form.
  3. It takes out the guess work in my workout for that day. I don’t have to plan what exercises I’m going to do, for how many reps, how I’m going to warm up, how I’m going to cool down, etc, etc.
  4. Most importantly I’m able to try fun new activities. It’s like a personal date with myself. And who doesn’t like dates, especially when the company is amazing ;).

Keep your New Year resolution to exercise more, and have fun doing it. You can cancel at any time but why would you want to. Check it out for yourself https://classpass.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photowall Room Transformation

The idea of home has always been sacred to me; my sanctuary. From the way it smells, to the lighting, colors, and arrangement of furniture and decor. Lately I’ve slowly started making changes in my place to give me more warm and cozy vibes. Naturally when Photowall emailed me about doing a product review I was beyond excited.

So for those of you not familiar with Photowall they are an online retailer from Sweden that provides thousands of murals, canvas prints, and custom designs to suit any theme or space. I will say at first the amount of options were a little overwhelming considering they have so many beautiful  to choose from. I was in search of a wall mural for my bedroom so I knew I wanted something versatile yet statement worthy. I’ve always been a fan of exposed brick, so this helped me narrow my choices down because I was then able to search under “textures” then “bricks” to find my ideal mural. I choose “Stockholm Brick Wall”. I loved the variety of color in the brick pattern. The process from there is easy, simply put in your wall measurements, select the material (I choose standard), and add to cart. Wallpaper paste is included with the mural, at checkout it was suggested to add the wallpaper kit which included all the tools to seamlessly execute the hanging of the mural.

After placing my order the mural arrived in less than five business days in two streamlined packages. One package contained the mural roll, instructions, and wallpaper paste.  The other box contained the wallpaper kit (a brush to apply the paste, a level, pencil, trimming knife and guide, a smoothing brush, and a seam roller).

Photowall Mary Chryston
The slogan is an actual fact. My room received a major improvement!

The first thing I noticed after taking the mural roll out of the box was how vivid and lifelike the brick pattern was. The mural was divided into nine panels that were clearly labeled yet needed to be cut apart. That was one step I wish was already done.  It took me about four hours to prep, install, and trim the mural. The process was fairly easy, if I had assistance the time could easily be cut in half. Immediately after just installing one of the nine panels I was super excited. I literally started happy dancing. First the fact that it covered well over my dark textured wall was a relief but the realism in the design took me aback. The colors and detail popped. I ended up with extra wallpaper leftover which I decided to cover an Ikea bookshelf with.

 

Overall I really love this product, every time I walk into my bedroom I get the feels. I posted part of the process on my Instagram story and followers were actually stomped. Some thought I painted the faux brick wall while others thought I actually installed a brick panel in my room. My room now embodies a sort of rustic city vibe that I adore. With so many motifs to choose from Photowall will definitely be apart of any future decorating plans.

The before photo of my room before was a little sad. Thank you Photowall for helping me fall in love with my bedroom. With a few more updates my sanctuary will be complete!

Be the Master of Lemons

What a great feeling it is to turn your emotions around. To be able to transform pain, anger, and heartache into something beautiful and beneficial to yourself and others. Because not everyday is going to be outright amazing, but it can be satisfying. The truth is most days are just going to be okay, and some days are going to be a mix of OMG that was incredible and OMG somebody put me out of my misery. Whatever the type of day we have, remember that life is constantly moving. So if it is a glorious day feel gratitude for that moment, if it’s a shitty day feel gratitude knowing that you a blessed very shortly with a new moment and a new day.

Become the master of lemons, do not just stop at lemonade, make lemon cake, lemon water, lemon infused face masks, and any other lemony goodness you can come up with. Hell sometimes a plain on lemon can be just what you need. Whatever the case enjoy what you have but don’t be afraid to push for something better. Become the master alchemist of your life.