Free Book Give Away!! Signed Copy of Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It

Hi everyone!! Spiritual Bahana is giving away a free autographed copy of Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It signed by yours truly, Eduardo Martinez.

For those of you who don’t know, last summer I entered an essay writing contest by the acclaimed author Elizabeth Gilbert. Liz Gilbert is a New York Times best selling author who’s inspired millions of women and men to look at their lives and change them for the better. Since its release in 2006, over 10 million copies have been sold and it established her as a world famous writer. Eat Pray Love sold over 10 million copies ever since its first release in 2006. Her story of self discovery was also made into a movie directed by Ryan Murphy, the creator of American Horror Story and most recently The People Vs. Oj Simpson.

Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It is a collection of essays written by fans from around the world who were inspired to go on their own spiritual quest after reading the book. Although I didn’t travel around the world to find myself, I believe you’ll find my simple story of hard work and determination just as inspiring.

The book and author were also featured on Good Morning America:

You have mutliple chances to win! You can enter by:

  1. Leaving a blog comment lettings us know what you thought of Eat Pray Love.
  2. Following Spiritual Bahana on WordPress (click “follow” on the sidebar—>).
  3. Follow @spiritualbahana on Instagram.

You can chose one or all options for multiple entries. The contest begins today and will run through midnight on Sunday, 5/15. The winner will be announced on Monday, 5/16.

Please click on the link below to log your entries. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Giveaway-Signed Copy of “Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It”

Hi everyone!! Spiritual Bahana is giving away a free autographed copy of Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It signed by yours truly, Eduardo Martinez.

For those of you who don’t know, last summer I entered an essay writing contest by the acclaimed author Elizabeth Gilbert.  Liz Gilbert is a New York Times best selling author who’s inspired millions of women and men to look at their lives and change them for the better.  Since its release in 2006, over 10 million copies have been sold and it established her as a world famous writer.  Eat Pray Love sold over 10 million copies ever since its first release in 2006.  Her story of self discovery was also made into a movie directed by Ryan Murphy, the creator of American Horror Story and most recently The People Vs. Oj Simpson.

Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It is a collection of essays written by fans from around the world who were inspired to go on their own spiritual quest after reading the book.  Although I didn’t travel around the world to find myself, I believe you’ll find my simple story of hard work and determination just as inspiring.

The book and author were also featured on Good Morning America:

You have mutliple chances to win! You can enter by:

  1. Leaving a blog comment lettings us know what you thought of Eat Pray Love.
  2. Following Spiritual Bahana on WordPress (click “follow” on the sidebar—>).
  3. Follow @spiritualbahana on Instagram.

You can chose one or all options for multiple entries. The contest begins today and will run through midnight on Sunday, 5/15. The winner will be announced on Monday, 5/16.

Please click on the link below to log your entries. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yoga Off the Mat: The Yamas

I started doing yoga around 2008. After I finished grad school, my overachieving, anxiety induced energy needed to turn to something else to obsess over. One week after finishing my last class, I signed up with a running group and begin training for a marathon. I threw myself into marathon training with the same intensity I did through my education. I pushed myself, ran through the pain and begin amassing damage to my knees, back and feet. I did not let that stop me. Over a three year period, I ran 9 marathons and 8 half-marathons.  I also experienced runners knee, plantar fasciitis and flair ups to my scoliosis.

I started going to yoga to help with the physical pain I was experiencing. I found great relief for my back, hips and knees and learned about a mind body connection. I started using some of the breathing techniques to help me with the ever looming anxiety. I found a wonderful teacher who I believe the universe placed in my life to begin a path towards healing. She often spoke about other aspects of yoga that begin to peak my interest and I realized there was something more there than a great, sweaty class or a relaxing stretch.

I did a bit of reading and researching and found out there were other branches to the yoga tree. 8, in fact. The poses, or asanas, were only 1 branch. The breath itself had a whole branch devoted to it. I had heard of meditation, but felt intimidated to try. The other branches were completely foreign sounding to me, yamas, niyamas, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. These sounded like dishes at an Indian food restaurant and I wondered how they would help me hold a handstand.

In 2012, when my father was murdered, I was forced to face my situation and choose a path to healing. Yoga was my salvation. I begin a dedicated meditation practice and used the principles I was learning about yoga to help me with processing the murder and subsequent grief. (You can read more about that journey by clicking here.)

In 2013, I went through my yoga teacher training. I expected to come out thinner, stronger and able to do “hard” poses. I had no expectations about actually teaching. After the 200 hour training, I had a much better knowledge of those other branches of the yoga tree and I had completely forgotten about how much I wanted to look cute in a back bend. I also knew I had to teach. I found a true passion that I wanted to continue exploring and sharing.

I continue to study and attempt to practice all 8 branches of the yoga tree. It will be a life long process. I set the intention this year to bring more of the other yoga branches into my teaching and help my students relate yogic philosophy both on and off their mat. I started off 2015 with teaching my beginner students about the chakras (you can read more about those by clicking here) and planning a chakra workshop for June.

Beginning this week, I will start teaching about the Yamas. There are 5 Yamas, which are also known as restraints or disciplines for ourselves and the way we interact with others. The Yamas are:

  • Ahimsa (non-violence)
  • Satya (truth)
  • Asteya (non-stealing)
  • Brahmacharya (maintenance of vitality)
  • Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)

Over the next 5 weeks, I will explore my relationship to each Yama through the Mantra Monday posts, in conjunction with my teaching in beginners yoga class. When I first thought of doing this, I had no idea how I would theme a 75 minute yoga class completely on each Yama, but as I sat down to work on it, Spirit guided me and the classes are all prepared. I am ready to do this work for myself and share it with others.

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Spiritually Bananas

Life has been a bit off lately which has left me feeling a little less than inspired to write. On 1/29/16, my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  A week after the funeral, my uncle passed away from the same fate.  The first two months of 2016 have been a time of transition as my family and I settle into a new normal.

It’s also played havoc on my schedule.

Now that death has introduced itself — this is the first immediate family member to pass away — I’ve been trying to spend as much time with my one remaining parent.  After work, I visit my mom on a regular basis to make sure her needs are being met.  She’s been coping pretty well but sometimes I’m afraid she wants to give up.  I’ll blog about it in a later post.

My mom and I at the Wisteria Festival at Sierra Madre.

My mom and I at the Wisteria Festival at Sierra Madre.

I’m currently on Spring Break and the last two weeks have been a much needed time to regroup and recenter my spiritual practices.  I pressed into them a lot more recently and started to reflect on death a little bit more than usual.

I just finished the audio book of When Air Becomes Breath by Paul Kalanithi.  I don’t think I was ready to listen to a memoir that was left unfinished by a successful up and coming neuro surgeon who passed away from cancer.  It was a bit too early to early for me to delve fully into the subject.  I struggled my way through it and I wasn’t really actively listening while it played.  I’ll give it another try at a later time.

bpjm-square-1536Angelina is currently on Spring Break as well and is hiking and eating her way through Oregon.  Gosh, now that I’m blogging again, there’s a lot of interesting stories coming to mind that I’d like to share.  I recently started dating a guy who has really caught my attention…I believe he feels the same way too.  I’ll ask him if I can blog about our relationship.

Things are looking up as Spring Break comes to a close; with only two months left of the school year and glorious summer vacation on the horizon, I believe we’ll be posting a lot more spiritual stories in the future.

Spiritual Bahana and I at my recent book party.

Spiritual Bahana and I at my recent book party.

I’d like to close this post with pictures of my dad whom I miss terribly.

Rest in peace dad!

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That's me in the middle, hiiiii!!

That’s me in the middle, hiiiii!!

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Ed

 

 

Mantra Monday: “I Manifest My Vision”

The third eye chakra is located at the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows. It is associated with intuition, wisdom and higher knowledge. If the third chakra is off balance, illusions, anxiety and over-thinking can occur. This can manifest itself physically through vision problems and headaches.

This is my most out of control chakra. My throat chakra is the one that is naturally most closed and I have done so much work in opening. My third eye chakra is often far too open and I need to ground it back down.

I have been studying Anodea Judith’s book Eastern Body Western Mind over the past year, to slowly digest and understand the chakras. I definitely recommend this book if the chakras are of interest to you and you want more information. The thought of “illusions” felt a bit esoteric to me and I did not see how I was experiencing them in my own life. However, Judith describes illusions as the “SHOULDS” we tie to our egos. I should myself to death. I obsess, stress and become anxious of what I think I should be doing, who I think I should be or how I think I should look or act. It’s no wonder I have both vision problems and migraines.

I have also realized and prided myself in being a great judge of character, perceptive and intuitive and possessing a great degree of empathy. My impressions are generally spot on and I have a natural thirst for higher knowledge.

My third eye chakra is strong, but sometimes too strong. I need to work on grounding it down, and balancing it through meditation.

This chakra is about manifesting your visions, it’s about shifting your intuition and wisdom into action to meet goals and achieve unlimited potential. Judith discusses the notion of vision in her book by asking the readers to think about the information they take in visually. If we are seeking to manifest a certain vision, what are we feeding ourselves visually? This has been great for me to reflect upon as I think about who and how much I look at social media or choose to focus/obsess upon.

I chose eagle pose (garudasana) to work on my third eye chakra. The foot that is connected to the earth needs to be firmly planted and rooted. The legs and the arms are intertwined with their opposite limb. The breath must be flowing consciously and freely to maintain balance. The hips are sinking back, but the arms and crown of the head are lifting up. There is both the sense of grounding down and lifting up. So much focus goes into staying balanced in this pose and when my focus is on my breath and body, it isn’t on whatever petty thing it was obsessing on before I came into my practice.

If I can breath while literally being all twisted up in this pose on my yoga mat, can I do the same thing when I am off my yoga mat?

third eye

Fun with Make-Up

I love make-up. I have an unbalanced relationship with make-up.

I am working on it.

There have been times in my life where I wore tons of make-up. I explored why in this post and realized I was trying to cover up my insecurities and self-doubts. I would spend more time painting my face than exploring my heart and doing the work that made me feel OK with or without my make-up.

Then there came a point where I threw out all my MAC make-up because it was tested on animals and I started all over again. For about a year, I wore pretty minimal make-up and spent a lot more time working on my inner beauty.

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I am slowly re-building my make-up collection with some great cruelty-free brands (Too Faced and Kat Von D being my new favorites) and having fun with different looks. I have been reminded how fun make-up can be for me, but I still remind myself that I should not be skipping my morning meditations to have time to contour. This may have happened last week.

Here have been some of my favorite new looks:

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Just kidding. That was me after hot yoga. That class made feel pretty amazing though.

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Too Faced’s Cocoa Contour is featured here, as well as their eyeshadow and blush from Le Grand Palais palette. I love how the blush in the palette gives a natural glow and there is just enough color pop for added FUN!

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This is my chola look and inspired by Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Vampire. This look says, I am educated but still down for shit.

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This look features Obsessive Compulsive’s Cosmetic’s stained gloss in Hedonist. I wore all black to a wedding but made up for it with a colorful face. My message was, I hate weddings but that’s no excuse not to look amazing.

I will keep seeking a balanced relationship with make-up, but still keep the process fun and versatile.

FUN