big sur calla lilies

Calla Lilies on the most magical path in Big Sur

In April 2006 one of my best friends and I went on a a road trip up to a place called Heartwood Institute in Northern California. Jenny was checking out nutrition programs and had heard about Heartwood because this very well known author Paul Pitchford was teaching there. Pitchford wrote this book called Healing with Whole Foods and it is like a bible for holistic nutritionists. So off we went and had an adventure. While we were there we met Mr Pitchford and had in depth consultations with his students. I was on a quest to heal hypoglycemia naturally and so I had lots of questions for them and got a lot of very helpful ideas. The two pieces of advice that stuck out in my mind and ended up changing my life forever were these – make sure the butter I eat comes from grass fed cows, and to establish a daily meditation practice. I am a big fan of butter so the grass fed emphasis was a welcome idea, but the daily meditation idea seemed pretty mysterious. It seemed to make sense that doing something to help me relax every single day would effect my health for the better, so I made the decision to to try it out. The thing is that I didn’t really know what meditation was so I just started with sitting down and watching my thoughts for 5 minutes every day. That alone seems to be the entire practice of Zen Buddhism (I’m no expert) but thank God I found Kundalini yoga literally a few days after I made the decision. Or maybe Kundalini yoga found me.. regardless. We drove down the coast through the magical realms of Big Sur on the way back to Los Angeles. I was super stressed when we had started out on our road trip but by the time we were heading back down the 1 , the MOST beautiful road EVER, I was feeling a new freedom opening through me.

big sur

Jenny on the path to the most beautiful beach ever!

Jenny had heard about this place called Golden Bridge Yoga and really wanted to check it out. She just a had a day to spend with me in LA before she had to leave to go back to Brooklyn so of course I wanted to oblige. I remember that I didn’t really want to go even though I was curious about Kundalini Yoga. I had passed by the place a few times because at the time there was a Big Lots store around the corner that I used to walk to from my first apt in Hollywood. (We called that Big Lots “Big Dump” ! Classy I know but if you ever went in that location on Vine and Delongpre you know what I mean)  I had even stopped in to Golden Bridge to get a schedule one time and I remember thinking  that there was a lot of light coming out of the girl’s eyes behind the counter. I wanted that light to come out of my eyes too, but I was too shy to go to a class by myself. The thought was actually terrifying.  So anyways, we went to a 9 am class by a woman named Tej– a teacher that went on to have a huge impact on my life. I didn’t really know what to think about the experience. It was so different from anything I had ever tried before. I knew that I felt good afterwards and that I should buy a class pass there instead of the YMCA membership I was considering, because I could not afford both.

So I started doing a little yoga every day, just moves I picked up from class. I didn’t know anything. I just knew I should do something every day to help me heal and relax. The combination of going to a Kundalini yoga class once or twice a week, and doing some kind of meditation practice , a little bit every day, changed my life completely.  If someone wants to change their life, and happens to ask me what to do, the absolutely best advice I could give would be to do some kind of meditation every day.  It can be any kind of energizing routine that helps you relax and feel better. The key is to really  DO IT EVERY DAY, even for 5 minutes.  The consistency will produce results. You will amaze yourself.  You can open up the channels of energy that run through you and around you, wider and wider,  so that you just enjoy your life more. It’s very simple.

big sur beach

Jumping for joy in Big Sur , on our way back to Los Angeles.