My son pictured above in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt doesn't really understand why I love meditation so much, but he immediately mimics me when he found a tranquil place on a bench at the temple we visited in San Diego. He's 6 now, but I do intend to teach him the benefits of meditation so that by the time he's 10, he'll not only be the best at Minecraft, but he'll also be extremely confident, strong, happy, and grounded.
I was introduced to meditation from the practice of yoga. During the final resting pose (savasana), you lay down flat on our back, arms at your side with palms facing up. In this position, you rest your body and let yourself recover from the practice. You quiet your mind and let go of all thoughts. Sounds simple right? Actually, it's the hardest thing in the world because trying to think of nothing is impossible when you have so many problems to worry about and a to-do list that's a mile long! Ahhhh, but this final pose is the most beneficial, if not, the main reason why I practice yoga.
Meditation doesn't have to mean sitting down with your legs crossed. The act of meditation is simply silencing your mind from everyday thoughts and distractions so that you can be fully present in the moment. Staying still and allowing yourself to just let go of everything around you and outside of you is uncomfortable. Why? Because we're so used to our thoughts! We think of the same things (emotions, problems, goals, ideas, errands) every day while we're up and about. We constantly get lost in our thoughts and we end up identifying our existence with those thoughts! Some of which are really unhealthy and no bueno. And what's even more apparent in our generation are all the distractions we're privy to; television, mobile phones, and social media networks. The more addicted we get to these distractions and thoughts, the less control we have over our minds. But with daily or frequent practice of meditation, we can actually brush off the stress and live happier and healthier lives.
Meditation combined with simple breathing techniques can do more wonders for your health and wellness than pills and potions. If you haven't tried meditation yet, we'd love for you to join us next week on Sunday, April 19th at our first Live Lotus yoga practice. It's our first yoga session and we want to share this experience with you! The event is more than half full now, so please RSVP your spot at the link below. Our first Live Lotus event is benefitting HERS Breast Cancer Foundation, so even if you can't join us on the mat, you can click at the link below to support this amazing charity.
Let's open up the possibility of mind, body and soul transformation, together.
We are so excited to share with you a new chapter in the Lotus Story. Great ideas come and go, but when an idea starts to affect a movement and the lives within the community, something remarkable is taking place. In many of our previous blogs we share our own stories of transformation and growth, inspired by our company's philosophy and mission. This journey has led us to many great things, but there is one big reason why we love working at Lotus; witnessing the chain reaction of another person's transformation from the inside out! It is truly a blessing and an honor to introduce our newest member of the Lotus family, Malay Hendricks, Director of Business Development. In her guest post below, Malay shares with us her personal experience with yoga and how it has surprisingly changed her entire life. We hope you're inspired by it!
I was in the line of work where my days ran long, ranging anywhere from ten to twenty hours (on some occasions) per day either in an office meeting, conducting training and interviews, drifting on the road, or doing presentations in a client's home. Those days would always put a big dent in me physically and mentally, and at the end of each day I grew wary and became extremely stressed out. I could not seem to find a way to alleviate the physical and mental stress I was putting on myself. I would try to find time in gaps of my day to get some workout done at the gym. I would try various exercises to shake the stress off, but I never really appreciated the flow of the workout. I basically worked out to trick myself into thinking I was doing something good for myself, but in actuality I was just going through the motion.
Sarah, my cousin, understands the type of industry I was working in and had told me she was practicing yoga for over two years, though at the time I did not think very much of it. What I do know about her was that she would not get into something that was not beneficial and didn't change her as a person, because she was in the same line of work as I was, if not more demanding. She stated that her yoga practice had completely changed her life; it helped her go on with her busy days in a calm and spiritual manner. When I heard that, I was in disbelief...in a good way. I wondered to myself, "How could she possibly find time to squeeze in something that is so transforming while juggling her corporate career, with two children, and manning a start up company!" When she asked me to join her one day, I said "sign me up" without hesitation!...and also without realizing that she will be picking me up at 5 AM the next morning. Nevertheless, I was up for the challenge.
When I arrived at the yoga studio for my very first time, I still did not think very much of it, maybe because I did not know what to expect. Though, I instantly became attracted to the facility, the aroma, the layout, and the ambiance. The entrance of the studio opens up with a friendly front desk staff, a lounge area with water, yoga towels, mats, sofas, inspirational books, and beautiful paintings of Buddhas on the walls. The place felt warm, personal, and inviting. I learned this particular facility had two yoga studios, one for room temperature types of yoga flows (Vinyasa) and another designated for hot yoga flows (Bikram).
Once again, I had no idea what yoga was (and even now, I still have very much to learn!)... My initial impression of yoga was this: it is designed for 'old people' or it is a regiment for 'people with some sort of illness'. I only knew that it involved some sort of stretching. The first practice seemed very foreign. I started with Bikram Yoga, in a 104 degrees studio. The whole objective for new students is to follow and do as much as possible without leaving the room. It felt like a sauna, but instead of relaxing, you are stretching and balancing. And if you are brand new and claustrophobic, you probably thought you were being punished for a crime you didn't commit. Anyway, the instructor started the practice with a breathing exercise, leading to a series of standing asanas (poses), then moving onto a series of laying down asanas on the mat, and ending the class with some final breathing exercises. She also concluded the class with a laying down flat back asana (otherwise called savasana) for two minutes. With our eyes closed, we were to focus only on our breath, appreciating our bellies flopping up and down as our bodies completely melted to the floor. We were asked to set a positive intention and send it to someone we love during this ending meditation.
I did not know any of the poses because they were called out in Sanskrit and only some were translated into English if time permitted in between the poses. I followed along with ALL of the poses, gave it 100%, and miraculously made it through the entire session without someone dialing 911. The next three days I could not walk. I went back three days later and continued practicing every morning. After a little over a week of practice, I recognized the changes I felt in my daily routine. I got through my ten to twelve hour days still in great shape, both mentally and physically. I was always alert. I ate and slept better. I saw how toned my muscles got. I felt the blood evenly distributed through out my body, especially after each practice. I felt a sense of higher gratitude and appreciation towards everything! My relationship with the higher source had been amplified at an exponential rate. I can't seem to put into words this natural high I was receiving, but I could feel it saturate into my flesh. My relationships with my peers, my family, and my husband has deepened at a level where words cannot describe, and only an enlightened heart can feel. The moment I realized this change was happening within me, I started preaching the practice of yoga!
The practice detoxes my physical system and helps me get centered so that I'm able to concentrate despite the chaos from everyday work. There are times where I did not need or crave coffee (this is coming from someone who drinks 1-2 cups per day). I also started making my own green juice using organic produce. Even my easily scarred skin started improving! I have never been more calm, happy, and healthier!
I have only been in practice for less than two years and I look forward to more. I find that yoga is just simply amazing. I wish the practice was introduced to me the day I was born.
From what I understand, yoga originated in India, and was introduced into the western culture more than a century ago, yet I was not aware of it till 2013. I have always wanted to incorporate something spiritual in my daily exercise routine. I was thrilled that the yoga studio fitted with my work schedule. I started going to the 5 AM classes daily.
I urge everyone who wants to live a long, healthy and happy life, to fit yoga into your lifestyle. And I can say with 500% conviction, that it will change your life as it did for me. Who wouldn't want this? Start taking care of your body now because you are the only person in control of your health. I hope to see everyone in the realm of bliss! In fact, join us for the Live Lotus event on April 19th! RSVP your spot at the link below. The event is free, but we are accepting donations on behalf of HERS Breast Cancer Foundation. I'm so happy to be part of this amazing movement. Live Lotus is truly a fitness experience infusing mind, body, and soul transformation. Please join us!
Every year, a couple of days before my birthday my friends and family call me excited to celebrate. I never really want to do much, just spend time with them and catch up..but it never fails, it gets crazy! People love to get wasted and totally drunk at my parties and because I don't drink, the goal is always to get me so drunk that I throw up. Lol, this time It's going to be different, I'm asking all my friends and family, my brothers and sisters from everywhere near and far, those whom I've known for years and those who I haven't yet met personally but have shared my soul with, I am inviting you to join me and CHANGE LIVES. Not just mine and others, but YOURS too!! On Sunday, April 19th 2015 at 7:30am- 9:30am for just 2 hours we are going to "LIVE LOTUS". We are going to take a step forward towards living a healthier, more balanced life and we are going to have fun doing it!! Lotus Is reinventing yoga. Trust me you're gonna love it because everyone can do it! If My (Lola) Grandma can do it, you can do it! If you can spend 5 hours dancing at the club "turnt up", you can do it!!! It's going to be so memorable. It's a free event, all we ask is that you give a suggested donation of $20 that will go directly to "HERS Breast Cancer Foundation". This would mean so much to me and my team, witnessing my loved ones loving themselves completely - Mind, Body and Soul... It would be the greatest birthday gift each of you could ever give me. Please RSVP at the given link. It's time for us to Live Well..LIVE LOTUS. Thank you all so much for your support through the years, we will continue to serve you and work hard at helping our community, giving back to those who are most in need.
“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.” - Kahlil Gibran
Peace, love & blessings,
The above blog post was written 3 and a half years ago, before we launched Lotus Premium Denim in November 2011 (you can see our first model Becca wearing the Inspire jeans in above photo). Back then, I had no idea where this journey would take us. And now here we are in 2015! I wanted to share that very first blog post because it depicts an incredible story of how a little women’s denim startup innocently enough manifested itself into a sisterhood of love for self and others.
When we launched Lotus, we focused solely on offering the perfect fit denim for women. From celebrity gift lounges, to trunk shows, pop up shops, trade shows,personal denim fittings, and a successful Kickstarter pre-order campaign, Lotus jeans have traveled all over the world, and so have we! We are the real life sisterhood of the traveling pants… jeans to be exact! :) And wow, what a blessing it’s been. Throughout the years, we’ve had the greatest pleasure meeting beautiful and inspiring women who’ve worn Lotus jeans and have added so much life and depth to the brand story.
As our branding evolved, I noticed that aspects of the Lotus philosophy started to instinctively integrate into my personal life. In writing these newsletters and blogs, giving talks, and sharing the Lotus story, it organically became an outlet of self expression for me as well as everyone on the Lotus team. Matters deep within my heart which dealt with change, health, forgiveness, and detrimental habits were confronted with moments of self realization. When times were tough both in personal and business ordeals (believe me there were many), that familiar nagging voice of doom would ring loudly in my ears. A thousand times I thought I should just walk away… this time for real!! But the more more I wanted to walk away, the stronger the vision grew. You see, whatever it is I was going through, I found myselfgrowing through it. In fact, I was rising above it. These dark moments allowed me to see the light. It didn't make any sense to me at all.. Perhaps it was because I wanted to honor the brand integrity so much, I had to attempt living it's message? In any case, it changed me for the better. If this story started and ended with just me, then I could accept that there was nothing significant and worth sharing about Lotus. However, it’s positively affected every single member of the founding team and many of our Lotus ambassadors, friends, and associates have also said they've felt this wave. Looking back now, I’ve seen how it embedded itself in all aspects of the company’s mission. In an effort to introduce and offer Lotus Premium Denim to denim lovers everywhere, we also found ourselves setting up fundraisers with non-profits like City Year, CharityWater, Somaly Mam Foundation, Career Closets, and NAFCON. We’ve also had a Lotus Power Summit where we focused entirely on people’s stories of chasing dreams and triumphs over adversity. We’ve collaborated with musicians, fashion designers, artists, entrepreneurs and have even supported a city official who's focus in helping inner city youth inspired him to run for city council. In every aspect of growing this start up, we’ve always encouraged people to pursue happiness, develop self love, and to live well while doing so. Then it slowly dawned on us.. Lotus wasn't just about jeans. We were seeking to build exactly what we needed to foster in our own lives. It is about loving yourself enough to live how you want, and inspiring others to do the same. Lotus became a brand infused with celebrating beauty from the inside out through how we live, what we do, and what we wear.
The experience of how Lotus impacted my life developed a sense of spirituality that was even a bit too much for me, to say the least. As pragmatic and rational as I tried to be in running a business in this modern world, I fell in love with the mission and meaning behind Lotus. I found myself seeking truth and wisdom from present and past thought leaders as a source of inspiration and a guide for Lotus. Most notably, my search for truth brought me to my practice of yoga. I couldn’t understand it at first, but the more I practiced yoga the calmer I was in my day-to-day life. In addition to the physical benefits, it boosted my energy, kept me balanced, and I felt happier. Best of all, the effects were immediate. Beyond the flexibility and headstands, it is about union with the Self. More and more, I realized that Lotus was the catharsis to my awakening, and practicing yoga and meditation provided me with a deeper sense of clarity and balance to life. Practicing it removed me far away from anxiety, fear, and fatigue. Yes we design great fitting jeans and yes we love love love fashion, but could there be something more to it that's driving Lotus to exist? The team and I discussed this for more than a year now, and we’ve hit an epiphany - Lotus is an experience of self transformation. Everything else is a bridge to it.
I’m very excited to tell you this realization led us to form a brand campaign that's never been done before. Whatever it is that’s helping us evolve within Lotus, we want to share it with you! Inspired by today’s active modern woman, Live Lotus promotes well-being through movement, communal experiences, and beautifully designed clothing. Inspired by the practice of yoga and what it’s done for me, it is my dream to extend the Lotus vision to include a yoga experience of mind, body, and.... music evolution. If you’re new to the practice, I want you to let go of your inhibitions and any judgement of it. Or at least refrain from judging until you’ve experienced it yourself. :) Yoga is an ancient practice introduced to the world from India, and though we aim to honor every aspect of it, we also want to modernize it for today’s generation. The first Live Lotus experience will be held next month in April, and I promise you it will be fun and unforgettable! More info to come soon.
With our added focus in yoga, or any other experience for that matter, we want you to know the Lotus label is not ending. In fact, we're extending our collection and will be including active wear soon. We want our clothing to help tell a remarkable story. We want it to be worn by women who are living amazing lives chasing dreams, experiencing the world, overcoming adversity, and awakening in God's love. That kind of woman inspires the world around her, and we want nothing more than to dress her along in her journey.
If you’ve stuck around and read everything, I want to say Thank You! I’m grateful we’re on this path together and hopefully you’ve connected with our story and want to stay on this journey with us! Once again, thank you for your support and for inspiring us to dream big and love fiercely.
It's that time again when I get to share my thoughts and feelings about Life and what moves me. I thought about my circle and the people that are really out there living and going after their dreams. Jay Stilla came to mind. He was my younger cousins friend from high school. The kid was crazy, funny and so full of energy. At one point I hired him at a retail chain I was working for, he drove me nuts calling out sick from partying all night, coming to work with crazy hairstyles and just DIFFERENT! Aside from his craziness, Jay was a great guy. He always made everyone laugh and put in extra hours for me when I needed him at work. One thing that stood out more than his hair was his love for music. I remember he was messing around with his friend Marlon (MDot) rapping and playing with his keyboard, creating beats, writing lyrics and having fun doing it. That was more than 17 years ago. Today Jay Stilla is a respected Music Producer, well known in the Bay Area for his underground sound, unique mixes and eclectic style. He's a self-made entrepreneur and his empire continues to thrive. I have so much love and respect for Jay. Despite his accomplishments he stays humble and grateful, always giving back to his community and supporting so many different charities. By sharing his story I hope to inspire all the young people out there who need positive roll models, especially the ones from our neighborhood in San Francisco! Thank you Jay for sharing your talent and your dreams.
If you want to learn more about Jay Stilla and his music please visit his websitewww.thebeatcellar.com, follow him on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram@jaystilla.
What inspired you to start The Beat Cellar?
I was initially inspired to start The Beat Cellar to create a platform of sorts to use as a tool for my team of artists to gain exposure in the music/entertainment industry. The Beat Cellar was, and still is, in essence, an independent music label. But through my experiences (successes and failures) and growth (industry savviness) in what I, along with my artists' and team members have built, The Beat Cellar has evolved into much more than a music conglomerate - we've become a brand that represents creativity, community togetherness and outreach, unity amongst our peers, and a connection we all share (if we allow to do so) in this line of work. We constantly challenge ourselves to become better at our crafts, create better music while maintaining out own musical identity, and we also try to make a difference in our community when and wherever we can. I'm thankful and proud of my team and I hope our bodies of works, both in community outreach and music production, influence those who follow us to do the same.
Who in your life was your biggest influence?
I don't have one specific influence I have many. In my childhood years, I credit a lot of my family members for influencing me to become involved with music. My older brother Rene, who has been playing the drums (double bass kit) and guitar ever since I can remember, planted a seed in me at around 5 years old. My Uncle Rich (RIP) and Uncle Arthur played the piano and guitar at every family gathering during the holidays, playing oldies like The Commodores, a lot of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Santana, Van Halen (early years), Lionel Richie, The Stylistics, and The O' Jays, which definitely inspired me to play instruments. Other influences I had later on in my teenage years when I started producing my own music were producers like Black C (RBL), Khayree, JT (Figg Panamera), then on to E-A-SKI, Dr. Dre, Mannie Fresh, The Neptunes, (early) Kanye, and Timbaland (along with Missy Elliot) among others.
Tell me about a time where you wanted to give up your dream… What helped you to continue?
There were a few times I felt discouraged and no longer wanted to continue working in the music/entertainment industry, but family, friends, and prayers kept me going. There was a time in my life when I was serving in the US Military, I felt disconnected from music and my friends (music group), I stopped making music for a couple of months - maybe 7 months or so. I prayed to GOD about what I was doing and what I should be doing with music many nights, and at the end of that 7-month stint, I somehow was drawn back to making music. I realized then that I couldn't stop (making music). Being involved in music is who I am and if I had music removed from my life, I wouldn't be happy. My faith drives me, my physical form allows me to do what I do, and GOD guides me to where I need to go. Nowadays, I do a lot more than produce music, I manage the business, I help develop artists, I dabble in merchandising, I oversee projects, and I collaborate with others to put together fundraisers and other events. Everything I mentioned helps me keep going because there is so much to do and so much ground to cover.
What legacy do you want to leave?
My legacy? I want to be remembered as someone who followed their dreams, someone who dedicated their life to perfecting their craft, a GOD fearing man who tried to make a difference when and where he could within the community, and someone who tried to influence others to do better and be better than they thought possible. I would like to be an example for future generations to see what I've done, see my accomplishments, what I've tried to accomplish, take that, and bring it to the next level being an inspiration to others.
February is the month of Love. It is an opportunity to show how much we truly care for the people in our lives. Valentine’s Day cards are passed out, special dinners are planned and most notably, gifts are given to express how we care and love that special person. As with any relationship with a significant other, child or family member, we are accustomed to these traditions that we picked up while growing up. However, what if we continued this all year round and really figured out what really touches their heart? Wouldn't our loved ones feel more appreciated? Let’s just say it’s easier said than done. For this week’s blog, I wanted to share insight from an important book called "The Five Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman. The book states that there are 5 ways people express love and that everyone may speaks it differently. “Your emotionallove language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese and English.” The goal is discovering two primary ways that your one speaks and applying it into your relationships. If I knew about this book earlier on, it would have helped me understand more clearly how my loved ones expressed love. It could have saved lots of time and energy, arguments and provided a peaceful resolution to a situation.
The 5 Love Languages are as followed:
1) Words of Affirmation: Encouraging or kind words and affirmations
2) Quality time: Focused attention; quality conversations or activities done together
3) Receiving Gifts: Buying someone their favorite flowers; visual symbols like a piece of jewelry
4) Acts of Service: Washing dishes, helping out with chores around the house
5) Physical Touch: Holding hands, hugs, pat on the back
Dr. Chapman also suggests to find ways to fill up your significant other or family member’s “love tank”. To further clarify, what are ways to make them feel good inside, you know, “Pharrell happy-like?” (cue the song). This could include taking out the garbage, planning date night, bringing home flowers after a long week or simply letting him have the remote control for the night. Interestingly enough, after finding what my two primary love languages are (quality time and a tie between physical touch/words of affirmation), I started to contemplate on the ways loved ones showed me love and discovered the way they showed love was not always my primary love language. For example, receiving gifts. I realized that time well spent with family and friends was more important than any physical thing... and that’s just me. Keep in mind everyone is different but when you discover other people’s primary love languages, you learn tolove that person more effectively! In the end, you are filling up their “love tanks.” That my friends, is priceless!
Now that you know The 5 Love Languages, what are your two primary lovelanguages? I encourage you to think about it, share it with your loved ones and discover what their primary language is. You just might find yourself feeling more lovedthis Valentine’s Day, or better yet, all year long! To discover your love language, take a short quiz to find out what love language you speak by visiting http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
Wishing you lots of love this February!
If you like to snooze your alarm and skip breakfast for that extra half hour of sleep, then this overnight chia pudding could save your day. It can save your diet too! Chia seeds have a great nutritional profile. They are packed with nutrients that benefit your body and brain. It’s important to incorporate healthy ingredients into your daily diet because you’ll feel better and do better.
You don’t need to diet drastically to eat healthy. In fact, you shouldn’t. Start by setting easy goals for yourself like eating a fruit a day or not drinking soda, even the diet kind. For me, it’s hard to give up the food I love to eat and wanting to try new places. I practice moderation so I don’t beat myself up for eating what I want.
Homemade chia pudding has probably been my favorite thing to make last year. It’s so easy to make, nutritious, and filling. Plus, it looks cute in a mason jar! Feel free to be creative with chia pudding recipes. Here’s mine:
Combine chia seeds and protein powder into a container. I recommend using a mason jar since it’s the perfect size container when you’re on the go (when I have a skip breakfast kind of morning, I eat this chia pudding when I’m stuck in traffic driving to work or even just walking to the office). Pour liquid and mix all ingredients together, making sure there are no chia clumps. Place the lid and store it in the refrigerator overnight. As an option, I use granola as a topping so it contrasts with the pudding texture.
I’m glad I got to share one of my favorite (and easiest!) recipes with all of you. I encourage you all to make your own chia pudding recipe. No pots or pans required! Enjoy!
- Rochelle Ata
For food inspiration and foodie adventures, follow Rochelle on Instagram @ro.appetit
The hardest thing about goals is sticking to them.
How many of us commit to making a change or achieving something in life, fueled in that sweet moment of inspiration? We envision ourselves reaching that goal and we believe in our hearts we deserve it. Even just daydreaming about it can lift your mood! That's the beautiful thing about goal-setting - the act of envisioning it can start to germinate things into action. You take your baby steps and things are looking good. But then this dark cloud called "reality" settles in and all of a sudden your goal starts to feel more like a ludicrous dream. It's too big of a goal. How do you even get there? You don't have enough time, talent, or money. Ugghh... dreams are meant for other people who are either lucky or younger or smarter... not you.
How many of us think like this?!
Even if you don't necessarily dream B-I-G, we can all relate to the simple everyday goals of eating better, living healthier, or perhaps even getting more sleep at night. The the size of the goal isn't what stops us from achieving it. It's over-thinking that goal which makes us feel overwhelmed and at times defeated. For example, I love writing and I know I want to do it more often. For years, I have wanted to stay consistent in writing blog posts. Sounds simple enough, right? But every time I start thinking about writing, I panic about finding the time to actually write something well worth sharing. I worry if the content is irrelevant or too long or not long enough... this is all before I even write anything! I mentally overwhelm myself to the point of exhaustion. The death of a goal is not the size, it's feeling overwhelmed about it.
The next time you re-commit yourself to change, I want you to keep these 3 words in mind.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with a goal you really want to commit to, don't change the goal! Change the way you think about it. Forget about end results because new habits and skill sets do take some time to build. When you're low on motivation, don't ditch the practice. Ask yourself, "Can I just..." and finish it with a small demand. Something incremental that you can stick with even if you don't feel like doing anything. Let's pretend that you have to run 3 miles today but you have NO time, the baby is screaming, your boss is emailing you, your house is a mess, your shoes smells, and your cat ate your socks. Ask yourself, "Can I just run 1 mile?" Commit to doing that 1 teeny tiny mile and you will realize you didn't just run 1 teeny tiny mile, you overcame feeling overwhelmed! And that is what goals are made of.
I wish you all the best in your goals!