Mindfulness & Lululemon Road Trip

June was one for the books! With long, warm days filled with growth and boundless adventures, the past month was brimming with lessons that I will carry for the rest of my life. It also was a beautiful summation of facets I had been focusing on for the past two years where I made a conscious shift in how I lived my daily life.

It all began when I stopped in front of the mirror one day and just looked at myself. I saw all of my tattoos and realized that they were weapons, almost every single one. Beautifully done, and a map of sorts of my journey. They were badges of honor of obstacles I had overcome (such as losing my mother), but also my armor, shielding me from my fears. I saw that I was a woman who felt like she had to fight to prove herself, to others, and more importantly to myself. I felt exposed and vulnerable but with a newfound sense of clarity. The internal armor wasn’t necessary, and there was and is power in that.

From that moment, I decided to really take the time to connect with and love myself, to care for my body and my soul. It became so apparent that being present in all forms was imperative to a fulfilling existence. Learning to fully access that space has been a goal ever since.

Putting it into action

Intent is nothing without action so I started with a healthier eating routine, daily meditation and intentional movement. I noticed an immediate difference and was amazed at how making slight tweaks in my daily habits helped open up doors into my soul. I was able to see myself on a deeper level and found quicker access to a present state of mind. This allowed me to jump into my work easier and have my ideas to flow fluidly from my mind through my hands into my craft. Of course, not every day is filled with perfect presence, but being aware and honest with myself has opened a channel; and it has been a beautiful journey full of growth.

The test

In April, I was invited by Lululemon to attend The Immersion in Hawaii for a four day experience. Beyond the two words that made up the name and the location, I knew nothing else. I pushed aside any uncertainty I had and decided to surrender completely and go for it. I excitedly leapt in with the expectation of meeting some incredible people, sweating it out for sure, deepening my yoga and meditation, and pushing my mind and body into a new level of wholeness. To say the least, that and so much more was manifested in that trip.

A passage I scribbled down while I was there keeps bringing me back to those moments; and I think it truly describes the state I was in: "There is so much power here - the land, rich fertility, and history beneath my feet; the natives and their families that have kept the culture alive in this place; and the reason I am here with THIS select group of 50 incredible individuals all has my system shocked. I am blown away by the vulnerability of each human here. The openness and willingness to deeply connect, and the raw humanity that I am being greeted with has me completely humbled. Each one of us is here for a reason. I am truly in the company of greatness and the growth and openness I feel is unlike anything I have experienced. Thank you my new friends for today, it rocked me."

It was on this trip that I was able to break down the physical walls I put up, pushing my body beyond its comfort zone. I greeted myself with honesty and finally took off the last remaining bits of armor; emotional baggage I had been carrying around my entire life.

This gave me certainty that the path each of us is on, is meant for us. No one deserves your opportunities, your successes and your failures. Those are yours - celebrate them! I felt whole embracing the now because it’s mine and I am proud to own what gives me purpose. I am truly out of my mind humbled to have experienced those four days with people that now hold my heart and inspire me to push further for growth and understanding and meeting myself fully.

 

Taking it on the road

Just a few days after Immersion, I was able to continue my journey with Lululemon and Antrom Kury for a three week road trip up into Canada, down through Glacier, through Moab and back home. It was an incredible experience to keep moving as a continuation of what I had learned in Hawaii. It allowed me to implement the idea that a yoga practice goes beyond being on your mat, and is in everything we do.

I wanted to take the openness and raw spirit that I was feeling fresh off Hawaii and apply it to the road. As I’m in the process of being open to finding my deepest parts, I wanted to challenge myself to push even further on this trip. I thought: How can I take what I do when I unplug, and bring it into my everyday? That practice truly is yoga - translating the wholeness and presence experienced in a workout into daily “off the mat” moments.

There were so many incredible moments of this trip that truly showed me more than I ever expected. It seems that is how life works - you set yourself up to see and learn one thing, and then the universe hands you a completely new and even more radical life change to work on.

Before I dive into that here is a map of our journey created by our amazing friend Brett Colvin, and a list of the places we visited!

 

 

6/13: Union Creek Resort, CRATER LAKE CA

6/14: Vancouver, BC

6/15: Blue River, AB

6/16: Astoria Hotel, JASPER NATIONAL PARK, AB 

6/17: Astoria Hotel, JASPER NATIONAL PARK, AB 

6/18: Emerald Lake Lodge, YOHO NATIONAL PARK, BC 

6/19: Johnston Canyon Resort, BANFF NATIONAL PARK, AB 

6/20: Johnston Canyon Resort, BANFF NATIONAL, AB 

6/21: Airstream in Flathead Lake, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MT 

6/22: Airstream in Flathead Lake, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MT 

6/23: Yellowstone Under Canvas, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WY

6/24: Yellowstone Under Canvas, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WY

6/25: Colter Bay Village Lodge, GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WY 

6/26: Moab Under Canvas, MOAB UT

6/27: Moab Under Canvas, MOAB UT

6/28: Monument Valley View Lodge, UT 

6/29: Campgrounds at ZION NATIONAL PARK, UT

6/30: Campgrounds at ZION NATIONAL PARK, UT

7/1: Joshua Tree, CA

7/2 Head Home

The uphill climb

Every journey stands as a milestone, where you pick up new understandings as well as memories, overcome previous fears, and put what you’ve learned into action. Not sweating the small stuff and self acceptance were big road signs that kept hitting me in the face. I was furiously fighting to be present, but was ignoring the fact that I needed to accept myself for where I was in each moment to actually be present. That full acceptance meant knowing when to stop and catch my breath, breathing through a challenging moment physically and celebrating myself for what I had achieved and accomplished instead of wanting to move on. I realized that all of this applied not only to the moments of physical activity but into the soul dimension.

This was most apparent on a hike in Banff, AB. The Plain of Six Glaciers is a 4.5 mile trek (9 miles round trip) uphill over snow patches and rocks to reach a tea house! This was an overwhelmingly challenging hike for me. I was sore from the day before and keeping up was brutal. It took a few nudges from the universe and Antrom Kury to remind myself to slow down, look around, be with my breath and where my feet were planted. I would get there when my feet got me there. It took some meditation but one step after another, I finally got to the top where hot tea and chocolate cake were waiting! There is likely no greater reward for trusting yourself to get up a mountain. That feeling of immense gratitude filled my entire body the whole way down.

This trip brought me to myself, head on. I journeyed between the spiritual and the physical through challenging myself and being challenged by my partner. Looking back through the photos and reliving each beautiful and grueling moment, I feel changed. The main things I’ve taken from this incredible month are learning to slow down and fully hear myself and those around me. I am being more honest within my being, and everything feels more present - the studio, hanging with friends, and time with myself. I am able to give more of myself to everything with further excitement and meditative creativity towards the projects ahead and a more grounded ear for relationships.

See below for my favorite photos from the trip and bits about the adventure. Enjoy!

The trip began with hiking to Toketee Falls Oregon. It was quite the dicy climb down to the edge of the water but it was more than worth it. This is one of the most incredible waterfalls I have ever seen in my life! Photo by Antrom Kury.

The trip began with hiking to Toketee Falls Oregon. It was quite the dicy climb down to the edge of the water but it was more than worth it. This is one of the most incredible waterfalls I have ever seen in my life! Photo by Antrom Kury.

Jasper was the first of our National Park stops. The epic mountains, slot canyons that flow with bright teal water, and the calming energy that this place holds is truly humbling. 

Jasper was the first of our National Park stops. The epic mountains, slot canyons that flow with bright teal water, and the calming energy that this place holds is truly humbling. 

The hike alongside Maligne Canyon was stunning. All we wanted to do was keep climbing down even though we knew we had to climb back up. 

The hike alongside Maligne Canyon was stunning. All we wanted to do was keep climbing down even though we knew we had to climb back up. 

After our first day of hiking around Jasper we drove out (one of the prettiest drives I've ever done) to Miette Hot Springs. This moment that Antrom Kury caught was just as the rain stopped, looking out into the mountains and there was an insane rainbow behind us! WHAT!!!!!!

After our first day of hiking around Jasper we drove out (one of the prettiest drives I've ever done) to Miette Hot Springs. This moment that Antrom Kury caught was just as the rain stopped, looking out into the mountains and there was an insane rainbow behind us! WHAT!!!!!!

Before we hit the road to travel down to Banff we stopped by this lake. It was quiet, there weren't many people around and it was the perfect spot for some mediation and yoga practice. A goal of mine for this trip and my yoga practice was to get more familiar with being upside-down. Its always made me nervous and I lacked the confidence to try. It really just took an acceptance that falling is inevitable when you are learning, its all about maintaing that acceptance while trying and growing. Photo by Antrom Kury

Before we hit the road to travel down to Banff we stopped by this lake. It was quiet, there weren't many people around and it was the perfect spot for some mediation and yoga practice. A goal of mine for this trip and my yoga practice was to get more familiar with being upside-down. Its always made me nervous and I lacked the confidence to try. It really just took an acceptance that falling is inevitable when you are learning, its all about maintaing that acceptance while trying and growing. Photo by Antrom Kury

The road to Banff from Jasper is called the Icefields Parkway and there are so many places to stop and explore, too many to do in one day so we took two days! All of my Lululemon gear made it pretty easy to hike around! Photo by Antrom Kury

The road to Banff from Jasper is called the Icefields Parkway and there are so many places to stop and explore, too many to do in one day so we took two days! All of my Lululemon gear made it pretty easy to hike around! Photo by Antrom Kury

I kept finding my color palette. Meeting the colors I create with out in nature. 

I kept finding my color palette. Meeting the colors I create with out in nature. 

Pitstops along the Icefields Parkway. So dreamy. 

Pitstops along the Icefields Parkway. So dreamy. 

This was the first time we both saw a glacier! 

This was the first time we both saw a glacier! 

This place was one of my most favorite stays of the trip. It was the biggest reccomendation we got and lucky us, we snagged one of the last rooms available for the night we were passing though. Emerald Lake lodge was so quiet and calm. Most of the paces we had seen had so many tourists and that for sure made it difficult to be present. This place had our hearts. We spent an evening canoeing around the lake. Which was hilarious because it was one of Antrom Kury's first times in a canoe and he was a bit nervous. I for sure didn't help by rocking the boat ;). Then we had an amazing dinner and some quiet time by the fire in our room. We were only there for 24 hrs but it was perfection. 

This place was one of my most favorite stays of the trip. It was the biggest reccomendation we got and lucky us, we snagged one of the last rooms available for the night we were passing though. Emerald Lake lodge was so quiet and calm. Most of the paces we had seen had so many tourists and that for sure made it difficult to be present. This place had our hearts. We spent an evening canoeing around the lake. Which was hilarious because it was one of Antrom Kury's first times in a canoe and he was a bit nervous. I for sure didn't help by rocking the boat ;). Then we had an amazing dinner and some quiet time by the fire in our room. We were only there for 24 hrs but it was perfection. 

Emerald Lake. Photo by Antrom Kury. 

Emerald Lake. Photo by Antrom Kury. 

The next day we headed into Banff which turned out to be our most favorite place. We started the day on another canoe trip on Lake Louise, this time much better at rowing and steering the boat! This water made me thirsty. I have never seen a lake this color in my life. We were almost silent for most of the time in the boat because of how insanely beautiful it was to be sitting in the middle of this. Photo by Antrom Kury

The next day we headed into Banff which turned out to be our most favorite place. We started the day on another canoe trip on Lake Louise, this time much better at rowing and steering the boat! This water made me thirsty. I have never seen a lake this color in my life. We were almost silent for most of the time in the boat because of how insanely beautiful it was to be sitting in the middle of this. Photo by Antrom Kury

Our first day in Banff we decided to do our first 10 mile hike of the trip. It started out at Lake Moraine and went right back up into all those snowy mountains! The hike was for sure a rough one, all strenuous uphill and lots of opportunities to sweat it out, even though it was quite cold out. Speaking of the cold weather, we packed for summer. It wasn't until we got into Vancouver Canada that we noticed how chilly it was. We luckily spent and amazing day there with Sarah Harrison and she took Antrom and I on a tour of the Lululemon campus and she gifted us with some warmer gear that we ended up wearing the entire time! Thank you so so so much for that!

Our first day in Banff we decided to do our first 10 mile hike of the trip. It started out at Lake Moraine and went right back up into all those snowy mountains! The hike was for sure a rough one, all strenuous uphill and lots of opportunities to sweat it out, even though it was quite cold out. Speaking of the cold weather, we packed for summer. It wasn't until we got into Vancouver Canada that we noticed how chilly it was. We luckily spent and amazing day there with Sarah Harrison and she took Antrom and I on a tour of the Lululemon campus and she gifted us with some warmer gear that we ended up wearing the entire time! Thank you so so so much for that!

For our next 10 mile hike we chose the next day to embark on that. The Plane of the Six Glaciers hike that I previously mentioned started at Lake Louise and took us far higher than this photo, but wowie that view!

For our next 10 mile hike we chose the next day to embark on that. The Plane of the Six Glaciers hike that I previously mentioned started at Lake Louise and took us far higher than this photo, but wowie that view!

Chocolate Cake and Tea at the top of the hike!!!

I really did not want to leave this place. Photo By Antrom Kury

I really did not want to leave this place. Photo By Antrom Kury

After the tears were shed and the acceptance of leaving Canada had been achieved our next stop was to stay with our friend Brett Colvin. He let us stay in his airstream that he remodeled himself! It was a dream, and when we walked in I saw that he'd made a #thisisyoga flag for us that is now hanging in my house! It was such a great two days spent on the lake, making burgers over the fire, drinking wine, watching the sunset and taking boat rides out on the lake. Thank you so much Brett for such a welcoming and amazing time. 

After the tears were shed and the acceptance of leaving Canada had been achieved our next stop was to stay with our friend Brett Colvin. He let us stay in his airstream that he remodeled himself! It was a dream, and when we walked in I saw that he'd made a #thisisyoga flag for us that is now hanging in my house! It was such a great two days spent on the lake, making burgers over the fire, drinking wine, watching the sunset and taking boat rides out on the lake. Thank you so much Brett for such a welcoming and amazing time. 

Next up was Yellowstone National Park. The colors here blew my mind! Expect to see some of it showing up in my work!!

Next up was Yellowstone National Park. The colors here blew my mind! Expect to see some of it showing up in my work!!

Highly recommend staying at Yellowstone Under Canvass. This was the dreamiest "camping" I have ever done. It was real chilly while we stayed and we got to put the wood burning stove to use and that was the coziest! 

Highly recommend staying at Yellowstone Under Canvass. This was the dreamiest "camping" I have ever done. It was real chilly while we stayed and we got to put the wood burning stove to use and that was the coziest! 

I woke up, did some yoga, had some tea, and came back to this. Not too shabby :) 

I woke up, did some yoga, had some tea, and came back to this. Not too shabby :) 

The drive though Yellowstone and into the Tetons was another one of my most favorite drives. I had no idea what to expect here and I was blown away. We took a boat ride to a hike, watched the sun set that turned the mountains pink and purple, and watched the sun rise on this iconic cabin. I can't wait to come back and explore this place even deeper. 

The drive though Yellowstone and into the Tetons was another one of my most favorite drives. I had no idea what to expect here and I was blown away. We took a boat ride to a hike, watched the sun set that turned the mountains pink and purple, and watched the sun rise on this iconic cabin. I can't wait to come back and explore this place even deeper. 

After all that green and mountains we were headed straight to the desert. We swooped up our good friends Sara and Rich Combs to join us on the last week of the trip. I was quite excited to get some red dirt on the Jeep and explore parts of Moab that I haven't seen and return to the places I love so much about Utah. 

After all that green and mountains we were headed straight to the desert. We swooped up our good friends Sara and Rich Combs to join us on the last week of the trip. I was quite excited to get some red dirt on the Jeep and explore parts of Moab that I haven't seen and return to the places I love so much about Utah. 

We couldn't not stay at another Under Canvass. This one was a lit a bit hotter and just as dreamy. I mean, look at the backdrop!!!

We couldn't not stay at another Under Canvass. This one was a lit a bit hotter and just as dreamy. I mean, look at the backdrop!!!

Getting to show our friends the paces we fell in love with, the power that land holds and to experience new places was such a heart filling experience. The desert has always held such magic for me, it shows me new inspirations every time I visit. It awakens my creative soul, always. 

The last time I visited Monument Valley I felt it in my bones the beautiful and sacred energy this place holds. That I am lucky that I get to visit and witness this. Coming back was just as powerful. Antrom Kury woke up at sunrise and captured one of the most beautiful images of the trip. I find myself scrolling though photos and always stopping at this one. I love it. 

The last time I visited Monument Valley I felt it in my bones the beautiful and sacred energy this place holds. That I am lucky that I get to visit and witness this. Coming back was just as powerful. Antrom Kury woke up at sunrise and captured one of the most beautiful images of the trip. I find myself scrolling though photos and always stopping at this one. I love it. 

I had never done a proper inversion until a few weeks ago while I was with Lululemon in Hawaii for #theimmersionHI . I had always gotten in my own way, I was intimidated to try. So I decided to try it for the fist time together and @baronbaptisteyogataught us how to allow ourselves to enter the pose. Since then it's been a goal to get up and hold it for as long as I can in a state of peace, accepting that falling was inevitable and that getting back up was the next step. Today's practice met me with so much grace and power. I held this pose for the longest I ever have and a wave of calmness met me while I was there, present in every inch of my body. And in one of my most favorite places in the world! Goosebumps. #thisisyoga Photo by Antrom Kury

I had never done a proper inversion until a few weeks ago while I was with Lululemon in Hawaii for #theimmersionHI . I had always gotten in my own way, I was intimidated to try. So I decided to try it for the fist time together and @baronbaptisteyogataught us how to allow ourselves to enter the pose. Since then it's been a goal to get up and hold it for as long as I can in a state of peace, accepting that falling was inevitable and that getting back up was the next step. Today's practice met me with so much grace and power. I held this pose for the longest I ever have and a wave of calmness met me while I was there, present in every inch of my body. And in one of my most favorite places in the world! Goosebumps. #thisisyoga Photo by Antrom Kury

Antelope Canyon was one of the places I really wanted to show Rich and Sara. Antrom Kury and I had gone before and the emotion and energy that I felt from this place brought me to tears. I knew I had to share that experience with our dear friends. We ended up pulling off a little early before the main entrance and found a small group tour that no one was on. This place is usually filled with tourists but we had it to ourselves. WHAT A DREAM!!!!

Antelope Canyon was one of the places I really wanted to show Rich and Sara. Antrom Kury and I had gone before and the emotion and energy that I felt from this place brought me to tears. I knew I had to share that experience with our dear friends. We ended up pulling off a little early before the main entrance and found a small group tour that no one was on. This place is usually filled with tourists but we had it to ourselves. WHAT A DREAM!!!!

CAPTURED THAT LIGHT 

CAPTURED THAT LIGHT 

The last part of our journey was Zion National Park. Our goal was to climb Angels Landing in the morning and hike The Narrows in the afternoon. We did it, but wowie Angels Landing was the scariest it has been yet. There were so many people going up and going down that holding the chains the entire time wasn't really an option. It took a lot of mantra chanting in my head and trusting that each footstep I took was in the right direction. When we got to the top, Rich quietly said "this is yoga." We had a chuckle, but for real that was yoga.  Photo by Antrom Kury.

The last part of our journey was Zion National Park. Our goal was to climb Angels Landing in the morning and hike The Narrows in the afternoon. We did it, but wowie Angels Landing was the scariest it has been yet. There were so many people going up and going down that holding the chains the entire time wasn't really an option. It took a lot of mantra chanting in my head and trusting that each footstep I took was in the right direction. When we got to the top, Rich quietly said "this is yoga." We had a chuckle, but for real that was yoga.  Photo by Antrom Kury.

I've stood here before and was in a completely different body and soul, or at least it feels like it. It was incredible to stand there again so much more aware of who I am, what my heart craves, and how to access my deepest self and let that be shown to those around me. I am no longer serving what doesn't serve me and living in the present moment. Each breath of air fills my lungs, in full acceptance of self. I am slowing it down with my heart and ears open to hear and learn. It felt amazing and so well rounded to end the trip on such a challenging and soul-empowering hike. Photo by Sara Combs.

I've stood here before and was in a completely different body and soul, or at least it feels like it. It was incredible to stand there again so much more aware of who I am, what my heart craves, and how to access my deepest self and let that be shown to those around me. I am no longer serving what doesn't serve me and living in the present moment. Each breath of air fills my lungs, in full acceptance of self. I am slowing it down with my heart and ears open to hear and learn. It felt amazing and so well rounded to end the trip on such a challenging and soul-empowering hike. Photo by Sara Combs.

The Narrows is my favorite hike of all time. Walking through those blue waters surrounded by bright orange and red canyons, you feel so tiny, and the earth so powerful. How lucky we are to witness her beauty?

The Narrows is my favorite hike of all time. Walking through those blue waters surrounded by bright orange and red canyons, you feel so tiny, and the earth so powerful. How lucky we are to witness her beauty?

These two. Rich Combs and Sara Combs 

These two. Rich Combs and Sara Combs 

It was so hot out and the water was the most perfect, cool temperature. It was such an ideal way to cool down after the morning climb. This is one of my favorite Lululemon moments as well. This gear was amazing in wet conditions, dried almost instantly, and was so perfectly comfortable to hike in!  Photo by Antrom Kury.

It was so hot out and the water was the most perfect, cool temperature. It was such an ideal way to cool down after the morning climb. This is one of my favorite Lululemon moments as well. This gear was amazing in wet conditions, dried almost instantly, and was so perfectly comfortable to hike in!  Photo by Antrom Kury.

Our last stop was returning Sara Combs and Rich Combs back home to Joshua Tree, and ending it there felt more than right. It is my second home anyways. As we were walking into the newly finished remodel of The Joshua Tree Hacienda I let out a gasp to see that they had hung the piece I gave them. They didn't tell me and I got all teary eyed walking in to see it! What a special treat that was. ;)

Our last stop was returning Sara Combs and Rich Combs back home to Joshua Tree, and ending it there felt more than right. It is my second home anyways. As we were walking into the newly finished remodel of The Joshua Tree Hacienda I let out a gasp to see that they had hung the piece I gave them. They didn't tell me and I got all teary eyed walking in to see it! What a special treat that was. ;)

We savored the last moments of the trip with plans for the future, dreams coming true and the exciting upcoming adventures and projects. What a trip this was. I could not be more humbled to have had the chance to unplug from the world and tune into myself and my surroundings. I will carry this trip with me always, in the lessons I learned that are now making their way into permanence within my daily practice, the sights I saw, the deeper connections that were formed, and the ultimate adventure it was to travel around to the most stunning places I have ever seen. Slowing myself down, taking everything in, and meeting myself with a heart of acceptance. 

Thank you Lululemon for wanting to experience this trip with me. It has been the most beautiful ride and sharing it with you guys made it that much grander.

Majority of the Photography by Antrom Kury. Editor Jen Woo. All clothing by Lululemon.