Carey from YYoga on Joy, Curiosity & Adventure

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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Carey Dillen, the President of YYoga in Canada. She is so committed to her work and you can tell she truly loves what she does. I hope you enjoy! ♥♥♥

  1. Do you have a favorite style of yoga that you generally gravitate to?

I enjoy all kinds of yoga – it depends on my day and my mood. During the week, I gravitate to Hatha, Flow or Power.   On weekends I love do take a YHot yoga class in the morning.   If I am feeling like I need a good slow stretch and go inward, then I go to Yin or treat myself to a Sage Aromatherapy Yin class.

  1. What does your typical day look like?

I don’t think there is a typical day! I get to work with so many amazing people in different areas of YYoga and I get to tackle different challenges and opportunities every day. One day I could be meeting with external retail vendors; the next day working on solving facility issues; the next day looking at potential new locations; the next day bringing our management team together to talk strategy.

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  1. What has brought you the most joy during your time working with YYoga?

Joy for me is a choice and created in each moment. It’s our people and our product that make me proud and fill me with joy each day. At YYoga, the majority of our team are women. Every day they get to see women in decision making roles, being authentic, and making a difference. I love being a leader and hope I inspire them as a role model to be fearless and happy!

  1. What book have you recommended to friends the most?

First Break all the Rules – Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

  1. What do you think is the key to a happy, joyful life?

I approach the world through curiosity and adventure. I am happiest when my body and mind are strong; I am fully engaged in my relationships with others; I am exploring and learning new things; I am smiling and laughing; I am being fearless and going for it!

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  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Do something that scares you – it’s called growth.

  1. What is your vision for where you want to take YYoga? 

The dream is to take YYoga across Canada, in every major city and suburb, so that we can touch as many Canadians as possible! It’s about making people healthier and happier in their daily lives because I believe we can all benefit from what physical movement and mindfulness can do for our body, mind and spirit. It’s about empowering the people around me to grow in their careers, to learn about themselves, to collaborate as part of a team, to support each other along the journey and to embrace a big vision that brings YYoga to all of Canada.

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You can follow along on Carey’s journey on Twitter and Instagram at @cld604 and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/careydillen.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

 

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Zen Girl Mandy on Community, Purpose & the Power of Laughter

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Mandy Burnstein thinks of herself as a “yoga teacher, writer, event planner, part-time mermaid, and full-time zen girl.” That’s quite the list of jobs she juggles, not to mention that she’s also a wife and mother! Her beautiful Instagram account filled with yoga poses, fun with friends and family, and lots of beaches is what initially drew me to her and I’m thrilled to get to share her story with you today. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. Do you have a favorite style of yoga that you generally gravitate to?
I’m a Vinyasa girl, through and through. Coming from a dance and movement background, my body craves the creative free flow of the Vinyasa style. I was trained in Vinyasa in 2010 and that is definitely my roots and foundation, but as of the last year and a half, I’ve embraced Kundalini yoga and also Bhakti yoga. I have fallen in love with the concept of healing yourself from the inside out, using your breath, chakras, energy lines, and sound medicine. There are many paths to healing and growth, and I’m open and down for all of them!

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2. What does your typical day look like?
Well, I have a 10 month old baby girl named Luna Wild, so life these days is free flowing and quite unpredictable. There is always something exciting going on! Mornings now start around 7am with big smiles, cuddle fests and sing-a-longs. We make green smoothies and breakfast, then around 10am, our Nanny comes over and I start my “Mandy” part of the day. I take a yoga class, run errands, catch up on emails, then teach yoga either in the studio, on the beach, or at the home of my clients depending on the day.

I allocate time each day to plant seeds for the future: my next workshop, goddess gathering, and my next yoga retreat. When it comes to work, I’m a big planner! I love to have my next 6-9 months of events mapped out so I can continually have new and creative offerings for my students.

As the day winds down, my husband comes home from work, we take a beach walk and catch sunset together to decompress from the day. Then we make dinner, put little Luna to bed and have a few hours together to connect.

Weekends are all about fun adventures! We usually explore around San Diego or hop down to Mexico for a few nights of being off-the-grid and more present with each other.

3. What gives you energy?
Community. Passion. My purpose.
A few years ago, I felt lost and a little confused about my purpose on this planet. I did a lot of deep healing work and learned a great deal of useful information about myself and my journey. I now know that I need a strong sense of community, with positive friends and family around me, as well as passion and purpose (and lots of delicious food in my life!) to feel energized and function at my highest.

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4. What book have you recommended to friends the most?
Modern: May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein. This 40 day meditation and journaling “workbook” changed my life.
Ancient: Tao Te Ching — a classic.

5. What do you think is the key to a happy, joyful life?
Laughter. Authenticity. Purpose.
You must laugh every single day. You must feel comfortable and loved/loving in your own skin. You must identify your purpose and pursue it passionately. These are my 3 non-negotiables and have helped me create a sense of deep happiness and daily joy.

6. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
You are your own Medicine Woman. Quiet the outside noise, tune into your soul. Listen and all the answers will be revealed from within.

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7. What is your vision for where you want to be in 10 years?
I just turned 31 years old, so in 10 years I’ll be 41. My dream life would be to continue being happily married to my husband Devin, with 3 kind, loving children. We split our time between our home in San Diego and our home in Mexico. We work hard and are passionate about what we do, but we balance it out with lots of time for play and taking care of ourselves. We surf, swim, eat lots of veggies and laugh often. I’m still teaching yoga and working intimately with women. I offer three yoga retreats each year which evolve and grow as I do. Perhaps there is a boutique hotel or yoga retreat center in the jungle that I am the creator of. My heart remains nourished by my tight-knit family and an amazing tribe of friends around the globe. This is my dream life. Simple and sweet 🙂

8. What is your favorite way to give back?
Corazon de Vida Foundation. This organization is amazing! They oversee 13 orphanages in Baja Mexico, which is only 30 minutes away from San Diego. I’ve been involved with them for years. From the first orphanage visits where I fell head over heels in love with these children, to helping throw the annual fundraising Galas, I love every aspect of what they do and how efficiently and effectively they use the donations. If this type of service speaks to you, please join us!


You can follow along with Mandy’s journey on Instagram @zengirlmandy, and for more in depth life lessons, travel stories, and yoga tips, visit her blog, Zen Girl — www.zengirlchronicles.com

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Britt & Tara from High Vibe Livin on Kundalini, Mantras & Spirituality

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I recently heard Tara and Britt from High Vibe Livin when they were interviewed on the Soul on Fire podcast and could not get enough of their incredible energy. They seem so fun, but also have the ability to dive deep into the spiritual realm. I’d heard a little bit about Kundalini yoga before, but the way they described it on the podcast made me want to look up a class immediately. They seem to have “High Vibe Livin” figured out and I’m excited to share with you a peek into the lifestyle they live! Enjoy ♥♥♥

1) If you had to describe who you are in one sentence, what would you say?

High Vibe Livin spiritual babe warriors.

2) How did you decide to start High Vibe Living and what is it?

High Vibe Livin is a lifestyle. It’s about the tools we use (like Kundalini Yoga, Meditation, Mantra, clean and non-toxic living, and more) to elevate the mind, body, and spirit daily so that your energy is vibrating on a high frequency.  When you feel positive high vibe emotions you feel great and will attract more health and happiness into your life. We look at everything from a vibrational standpoint and we are all about spirituality and wellness and want to share it with as many people as possible. We decided to start it because we both went through transformations, changed our habits and are now the happiest,  healthiest, and most spiritually connected we have ever been and we feel BEYOND passionate to inspire others to do the same. We feel it is our purpose and our mission to spread these messages and we are so thankful for the people who delivered pieces of the messages that changes our lives to us. It’s why we are here on the planet and we are so dedicated to being a part of elevating the consciousness of more humans!

3) When you picture your happiest life, what do you see?

Doing what we love, continuing to spread the messages of wellness and spirituality. Growing, learning, and evolving more everyday and sharing our journey with others along the way. Having time and location freedom, fulfilling our purpose, and living as our true selves.

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4) What attracted you to teach Kundalini yoga?  

It completely changed our lives and so it was the natural next step.

5) Is it important to have a morning routine? What do your morning routines consist of?

Absolutely, we think it’s THE most important thing you can do because it starts your day in a high vibrational way so that you can be in the best possible emotion available for you and then you will attract that throughout your day. It also allows you to clear your subconscious mind and be more present. In Kundalini Yoga tradition it is done between 4-6am (ambrosial hours when the energy of the day is creating and when your conscious mind is the most calm). Our routine consists of tuning in to ourselves and the universe (Kundalini Adi Mantra), Gratitude, Breath of Fire, Kundalini Movement, and Meditation. We then drink smoothies, eat healthy breakfast and love to get outside and walk!

6) When you’re having a bad day, how do you pull yourself back up?

Step 1: We become aware of the EMOTION we are feeling (emotions are our best guide to measure our vibration)

Step 2: Ask the universe for guidance

Step 3: Practice tools to raise the vibration of our energy and emotions. We teach many of them (breathwork, meditation, grounding, etc.). The fastest way through is with feeling strong gratitude for what you currently have, bad days and all.

Step 4: Celebrate where we’re at and know every “bad day” is an opportunity to evolve. Repeat steps 1-4 whenever you need it.

7) What is your favorite mantra that continues to be relevant in your life and why?

“Today, no matter where I’m going, or what I’m doing, or who I’m doing it with – nothing is more important than that I feel good.

Today, I will look for what I want to see.

I am the creator of my own reality.

Right now, I will reach for the best feeling thought that I have access to.

Thought by thought, and feeling by feeling, I will focus the vibrations of my mind into alignment with my inner being.

I will feel for the true vibrational essence of my being, and I will guide my every thought into alignment, for that is the true meaning of a balancing of energy.”

So be it!

Esther and Jerry Hicks, from the teachings of Abraham

8) If you could tell your past self something 10 years ago, what would it be?

Everything happens in perfect timing and in perfect order. Everything that you are going through is for a purpose to take you where you need to go to fulfill your purpose in life. Challenges are opportunities for growth. Focus on yourself, your health, happiness and connection to this universe and you can and will manifest a beautiful life beyond your imagination.

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Raise-Your-Vibration-Challenge

To get started living the high vibe life today join Britt and Tara for their FREE 7 Day Raise Your Vibration Challenge! Sign up here.

They also just came out with an Intro to Kundalini Collection for the Spiritual Babe Warrior! Save 10% with code “Happsters10” Grab yours here.

Follow them on Instagram at @highvibelivin.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Katie Brauer on Connection, Identity & The Power of Rest

Today marks the start of a series called “Happsters Happy Questions,” where I feature incredibly inspiring women once a week. In these interviews, we’ll dive deep into how these women got where they are today, what drives them and get their advice on how to lead happy, healthy lives.

I’m delighted to start this series with Katie Brauer. Katie happens to live just down the street from me, so I got the chance to sit down and connect with her in person for the interview.

Katie has a calming energy and I immediately felt at home as we chatted. She is an entrepreneur, educator and personal transformation expert and I was extremely impressed by her ability to eloquently tell me her fascinating life story with ease. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. Tell us a little bit about your background.

I have always been fascinated by the body and human potential. I started out as a professional snowboarder and suffered a lot of injuries throughout my 7 year career, which provided me the opportunity to study a whole lot of things that I was interested in. The first time I blew my ACL out and needed a full reconstruction, I went to massage school and fell in love with bodywork, during my next bout of down time from injury, I did a 2 year program in classical Pilates. Pilates was a huge part of my rehab and became complimentary to snowboarding. When I had to have my second ACL reconstruction, the rehab wasn’t working and my swelling hadn’t gone down, so I decided to try to understand what was going on the inside. I went to the Vail library and started reading books on chakras, the energy body and emotional wounding and experimented with visualization and meditation. While I previously didn’t love yoga, once I started doing these things, I began seeing yoga as a mind body practice as opposed to just a physical practice. I’ve been down the mindfulness and yoga rabbit hole ever since.

Eventually I combined everything I learned from yoga, Bio Dynamic Craniosacral Therapy, classical Pilates, functional movement, Therapeutic Massage, Somatic Experiencing, trips to India and personal experiences to create my own teacher training program and worked to build out my yoga programming and approach. I’ve trained thousands of teachers over the last decade, have owned my own yoga studio and served on the Executive Team of the fastest growing boutique yoga company, Yoga Six.

Over the years, what kept coming back to me was that I needed to follow what I love to do instead of just doing what I’m good at. I figured out that:

1) I love connecting with and supporting people
2) I love educating
3) I love providing people with tools and resources to feel more aligned and alive

My career has followed a very natural evolution and I have no idea what is around the next corner, currently I am focused on two major areas of my business: I just launched The Yoga Professional™ and provide education, inspiration + a modern approach to supporting the evolution of Yoga Teachers to rise as Professionals that sets them up for long term career and financial success. While I was training yoga instructors, I learned that every yoga teacher I came into contact with wasn’t making the money they desired and didn’t know what steps to take to get there. Now I help yoga instructors with the business component of their careers with group coaching and masterminds.

The other leg of my business is focused on educating and supporting women in living an empowered life and teaching them how to skillfully ride the highs and lows through modern mindfulness techniques.

Editor’s note: See the last question to get more details on how Katie empowers women through her online program starting soon!

2. You’ve accomplished A LOT in your life. What do you believe is your greatest accomplishment both professionally and personally?

Personally, it would be my relationship with my mom because it wasn’t good for a long time and there was a lot of wounding on my part (I’m a highly sensitive person). I just can’t believe where we were and where we are now. I think that is a testament to how important the internal work is and our responsibility as individuals to pick up the carpet, look underneath it, and deal with what’s there.

Professionally, I’m proud of the fact that I make a multiple six figure salary doing something that I love. When I tell people I’m a yoga teacher and coach, many people “poo poo” it and it just makes me smile. It’s been interesting to observe the change in my identity along the way. From the identity of being a pro snowboarder to feeling pressure to moving on after my injuries to get a real job with a title to where I am now. There have been many different identities along the way as my jobs have changed, but what I have learned is the title doesn’t matter, but what you are doing, the impact you are having and the contribution you are making does.

3. Do you have a morning routine?

The first thing I do when I wake up is lie there for a few moments to check in with my body and notice how I am feeling. I notice how I’m feeling physically, energy-wise and emotionally. I ask myself “what do I need right now?” and do what I feel in that moment instead of doing the same exact routine every day.

My husband is in the military, so a lot of times he’s gone and I generally spend about 30 minutes hanging out with my daughter in bed. She’s starting to talk and that time with her is so amazing. Then I usually drink a big glass of lemon water and coffee, make my daughter breakfast, and we go hang out in the backyard together.

My old routine was wake up and get up right away. There was no pause and transition time, but now that I have my daughter in my life, my mornings are very spacious and not rushed.

4. Has being a mom changed how you’ve run your business?

It has heightened my awareness around the impact that my actions have on others. My daughter is almost 2 now and she’s modeling after me the same way that I modeled after my mom. I have a lot of incredible traits that my mom has, but I also have a lot of patterning that I learned from her like a “just get it done” and “keep going no matter what” mentality. Now after having my daughter, I think about how I show up for everything I do and how my actions impact other people.

5. What do you know now that you wish you could have told yourself 10 years ago?

Less is more. I know now how important rest is and that I need space for creativity. I know that by giving myself space, I’m able to tap into my best work. That’s a key piece instead of “go-go-go” all the time. I feel like something huge is on the horizon because I’m finally understanding that piece. I’m realizing that doing nothing doesn’t mean you’re doing nothing.

6. I heard you have a great program for empowered living starting soon. Can you explain what it is?

Absolutely. My Flourish Program for Empowered Living starts Wednesday the 10th of May. I run the program every spring and it takes place over 10 weeks. The program is online with an incredible group of women who come together each year. It takes them from where they now in their life in every category – spiritually, health, financially, relationships, socially, career – so that they have a snapshot of where they are now. I introduce them to my philosophy on life and help them get where they want to be in the categories where they don’t feel like they are a 10 out of 10. We’ll talk about how to enjoy the highest highs and navigate the lows. Every module I give them new tools and resources to use from the breath to conscious communication to mindfulness techniques. They complete the program being able to recognize patterns in their life that are not serving them, having the tools to change them and feeling more empowered. I like to call it a system software update for your life.

You can learn more about the program and sign up here: http://bit.ly/kbflourish. Get $50 off your registration with code “50OFF”.

Thanks so much to Katie for the inspiring interview! You can also follow Katie on Instagram at @katiebrauertransform.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Weekend Pics + Happy Explosion Reveal

Hi friends! Happy Cinco de Mayo! Any fun plans? We are going to lay low and maybe have a margarita or two. I was supposed to go to Chicago for the weekend, but I ended up staying home and having a really busy weekend! Funny how that happens isn’t it? It was crazy hot here in San Diego, so I ended up near the beach 90% of the weekend. Here are a few pics from the weekend:

Lunch timeLunch time


Del Mar BeachCan you believe that view?

 

MazeWe made our way through a maze! It’s a miracle that we weren’t stung by bees.

 

LouisI got to meet my friend Maggie’s cat, Louis and fell in love ♥

 

Queen Bee Market

Cute signsMaggie and I went to the Queen Bee Market where I bought lots of cute Mother’s Day presents!

 

Beach dayI went down to the beach with Billy and caught up on my SHAPE and Fitness mags.

 


Partner YogaI got to see some cool yoga moves at a festival called Yoga Disco!

 

Yoga DiscoNamaste

 

Yoga Happy NotesI had to hand out a few happy notes of course. Get yours mailed to you for free by clicking here.

 

I also wanted to thank you for all of your sweet comments about Happy Explosion! If you missed it, you can check it out here. This week, the top voted act of kindness for Happy Explosion was A) Buy the person’s coffee behind us. If you’re participating, you can choose to do that or any other act of kindness that you want. I’ll be posting about my experience buying someone coffee on Saturday and starting a link up so that you can share your post that day too. I can’t wait – I hope you’ll join me!

 

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Tips for a Great Morning, Every Morning

What are some of the first things you do each morning when you wake up? Recently, I’ve been really conscious of what I choose to do when I open my eyes in the morning.

I go through phases of reaching for my phone on my bedside table to see the time and then getting sucked into reading work email and checking social media while still in bed. Since I’m a social media manager, I look at the Twitter and Facebook accounts that I manage at work and then check my own personal ones. Sometimes I would center myself with some morning mantras or meditate, but it wasn’t a daily routine.

Three weeks ago I made a rule for myself that I would leave my phone in the other room and commit to some new morning rituals. Note: I am a fairly early-riser so I have about an hour of extra time before I need to get ready for work in the morning.

Tips for a great morning, every morning

Here are the rituals I try to do each morning. I get to about 5 of the 6 each day.

1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for.

2. Meditate

3. Read a few pages of a book. Right now I’m reading The Power of Self-Healing by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini.

Morning Rituals

4. Do some stretching exercises/yoga.

Morning RitualPhoto of me and Billy at the Wanderlust Festival

5. Go for a morning walk around my neighborhood (and sometimes down to the beach!).

Morning Rituals

 6. Eat breakfast

Morning Rituals

What does your morning routine consist of? Let me know in the comments!

Happiness Found: Wanderlust Festival

Wanderlust

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to go to the Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley, CA. For those of you who don’t know, Wanderlust’s purpose is to create community around mindful living – yoga, the arts, personal spirituality, environmentalism, organics and conscious consumerism. There are lots of fun activities and sessions going on throughout the festival that I thoroughly enjoyed so while I won’t go into every little detail, here are 5 happy things that I experienced at Wanderlust:

1. The KIND Wall

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The snack company “KIND” had a wall of flowers and were handing them to people walking by. Their instructions were to pass on the flowers to other people at the event and “do the kind thing for your world”. They are definitely Happsters :).

2. The Amazing Sessions

Sessions ranged from Power Vinyasa Flow to the Four Phases of Meditation to Thai Massage + Chinese Medicine. I especially liked the self massage class that I took (life-changing!).
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