Monkey-minded Yogi’s

A few weeks ago I launched a product that I have poured my passion, time, and savings into over that last six years. I created The World’s First Yoga Doll series – a patent-pending doll that actually moves like a real person. My intention is to give future generations a toy that encourages young girls to embrace who they are AZ.I.AM, learn yoga, and is focused on healthy and positive play patterns.

I am very mindful to always create authentic, original content and products. I’ve been that way since I was a child. I take great pride in giving credit where it is due, if I was inspired in any way by an outside source. I couldn’t ever copy someone else’s work or idea, nor do I understand any value in doing so.  For this reason, I rarely attend yoga classes or read other people’s writing / books. I do not want my work to become a homogenized version of what other people are doing, or subconsciously be influenced by their experiences – I want my motivation for everything to be organic. My friends know that I am a secure and safe vault for their shared secrets and concepts.

With that said, our monkey-minded world does not think or act the same way that I do. To the contrary, most people feel more comfortable only doing what others do, wearing what others wear, copying the work, writing, and ideas of others – or even trying to change how they look with plastic surgery to appear more like someone else than who they are. The source of this is obvious: 1) they do not know who they are, and 2) they are afraid to be seen as “different.”

I became a yoga instructor for several reasons. Firstly, I have always had a robust spirituality and reverence for Nature. Secondly, I wanted to get out of a “limelight” (this is before yoga became a global rage). Thirdly, I hoped to be part of a community seeking and practicing higher states of consciousness and truth. Having studied Psychology, I also had a keen eye for character analysis, development, and personality based on reality; I never got wrapped up in the religious nature of yoga philosophy; instead I use the myths symbolically, not literally.

The last few weeks have been wildly disappointing and equally liberating on a few fronts. I reached out to fellow yoga instructors and peers to help me get the word out about my dolls. I was so excited to share my project with them and finally let the cat out of the bag, but this was definitely mixed with some nervous energy as well, having poured my bank accounts into funding the development. The events that followed completely rocked and shocked me, and the people who did show up to sincerely support my endeavors were not the people who I thought would have and vice versa.

The support that I received for my inspiring doll collection has been massive, and we are almost sold out of our pre-order production, but there was zero cheer from my yoga instructor peers. Now, I totally get that not everyone can support their friend’s endeavors financially, but everyone CAN support positively – even if that is only with positive cheer and/or sharing with their communities. Below is a list of how a few well-known “yogi’s” responded:

1)    40% of my fellow instructors responded with overt jealous anger, “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that…” is the only thing they could mutter into word.

2)    Another 40% didn’t have the courtesy to respond in any way, or offer any sort of congratulatory cheer.

3)    One yoga instructor followed the phrase in #1 with “Y’know what? Lose my number.” Ironically, I had given her over $400 worth of AZIAM Activewear over the years at her request, books for her kids, and even donated each time she posted a spinning fundraiser on social media.

4)    Yet another yoga instructor (with whom I had practiced Ashtanga Yoga with in India before either of us had websites) replied back that my dolls were amazing – and that she wanted to invest in my doll project (after stating #1, of course). She finagled me into sending my business plan, which I felt hesitant about doing, but I approached the opportunity with a widely open heart and arms – embracing the idea of two yogi’s sharing this with future generations. It felt pure … until her ego got the best of her, and she stated that she “was going to make her own.”

5)    The greatest supporter was hands-down MindBodyGreen – they were quick to see the pure-message and share it with their community. Their recognition was so sincere that I cried. The post received 1600 likes within 2 hours and I received praise and cheer from all over the globe in response. I was (and am still) incredibly impressed with their editors, and how the ones I have experienced truly live yoga. Other yoga-related sites replied back with grand cheer and “congratulations,” but while including an attachment detailing how much they charge per blog, review, and mention. #Namaste

Once I realized that my peers weren’t there yet – that they weren’t fully capable of living yoga off their mats, I felt sad. I took a couple of weeks to mourn the loss of something that never existed. Then, to my surprise, I started to feel liberated. I had held on to an illusion of a like-minded community that was superficial and competitive – just like the monkey-mind that yoga seeks to educate and discipline. Having worked closely with many celebrities throughout the years, I recognized the same superficial elitist attitude from my peers. I have seen it time and time again with celebrity culture. They can only cheer for those who do not threaten them, and they feel that they have a right to use other people’s concepts because they have the money and influence to release them bigger and faster. My yoga peers do not have the same means, and therefore responded with anger and immediately separated from me so as not to feel “less than” in any way. This realization tied together the irony that most of my “yogi” peers are more focused on becoming a celebrity than living yoga, and that is why I witnessed the similarity in behavior.

Here are three hints to tell if someone has the capacity to live organically:

1)    Self-control. When you share or present an idea to someone, they are able to maintain confidentiality, express sincere cheer, give sound and honest feedback, and separate your content from their life and work. It’s like a monkey who has enough self-control and discipline to not eat his friend’s mango when it is set down in front of him.

2)    Humility. They are able to live “Namaste” and recognize how each person is part of a whole, not solely as a manifested aid providing them alone with some sort of gain or growth. You know the person, “I manifested this and that….” This is a yogi red flag showing someone with an undeveloped psyche and exhibiting ego insecurity behavior. Warning: they will take your mango.

3)    Look at their friends and partners. Do they choose to be around others who inspire them and speak truthfully? Or do they prefer “easy” friends who sugarcoat reality to feed their egos and illusions?

It’s so much nicer knowing the truth, and releasing the anchor of expectation. Only then can we gravitate towards our true like-minded communities. This also created an even greater motivation within me to teach the real yoga – where no Photo-shopped selfies of bikini-clad handstands are required.

You were born with a unique personality,  purpose, and genetic disposition. Why reject and ignore yourSelf out of fear of not belonging? Take time to discover who you are, and take actions to live true to who that is. There are enough mangoes for everyone!

Your Food Personality Type

There are many indicators of personality type, from the clothes you wear to the color of your yoga mat, or the style of your car. Likewise the foods we like to eat may reflect more than our taste buds and dietary concerns, and may also have something to do with personality type. Often people have a dominant food habit that parallels various behaviors and character traits. These broadly categorized food types, as outlined in greater detail in As I Am, are meant to help you understand your own patterns, and can also be useful in helping you to recognize when you are dealing with someone who may not be expressing him or herself from a balanced center. Some people may embody elements of more than one type. And while these categories may seem facile, you’ll be surprised to find how often they are right on target.


The taste of sweet comes in many forms, from the obvious cane sugar, natural sweeteners and fruits to alcoholic beverages. Essentially, someone who has a need for sugar that is extreme and out of balance is seeking a substance-induced high. It could simply be an exhausted parent or overworked employee reaching for an energy-spiking sugar hit, but it often includes those who seek to sweeten how they feel, and this would indicate an imbalance of self-honesty.


Fire personality types are intense, and their intensity drives them to move. Those movements create friction that exudes magnetic warmth and desirability. They’re brilliant at fabricating stories and illusions as a means of distraction, but they dread being caught. Essentially they are hungry with a far greater intensity than the emotional sugar type. They are typically passionate yet logical, but reactive and quick to anger. Fire personalities like control. Physical addictions are common with the fire personality as well, but instead of seeking sugar they seek fire—in the form of spicy foods, sex, coffee, cigarettes, fitness and image.


The stuffer’s shoulders seem to carry the weight of the world, yet for whatever reason, the stuffer does not communicate, process or demonstrate inner feelings. As a result this personality type stuffs emotions with food, sedatives (pain killers, marijuana, alcohol), suppressive avoidance (tension) and/or becoming the victim of controlling relationships.

Growing numb to how they feel, stuffers tend to have a difficult time understanding their emotions, which means they are uncomfortable expressing their feelings. Succumbing to numbing eating denies and ultimately weakens one’s personal power of self-control.


The airy personality does not want to know and/or cannot handle reality. Airy types tend to lack down-to-earth common sense. They tend to be religious, superstitious and dependent. Airy personality types gravitate toward New Age communities and cults, or traditional religion. They want to believe there is a definitive, external reason for their life and that someone else has created and controls it. Since food is a grounding factor to emotions, the airy may likely avoid food or become very controlling (sometimes obsessive) about restricting specific foods (e.g. sugar, dairy, gluten, animal products). This behavior can easily be justified as perpetual purification. They fool themselves into believing their enigmatic ways are based on a true, unseen reality.


The avoider personality type can be very frustrating in relationships—work and/or personal. Avoiders are not comfortable outside of superficial relationships where they can control how they are perceived and what expectations are placed upon them. Avoiders do not become involved with others without knowing first, that they are held in high esteem (due to their fear of rejection); and second, that no one needs anything from them (due to their fear of responsibility). If an issue arises that threatens their esteem or lack of responsibility, they will fly away, making conversation and/or resolution very difficult. By flying away, sticking their head in the sand or laughing off the situation as unimportant, the avoider deflects intimacy, accountability, emotions and fears. As far as food is concerned, we never really know what they eat!


Have you ever met a person and felt an immediate jolt of resistance? After making an introduction and attempting a truthful impression, you find that nothing you exhibited was accurately perceived? The wall personality projects perceptions rather than display who they are or their true intentions. The wall tends to be judgmental and preoccupied with mental perceptions, so much that they cannot perceive each moment organically as it happens.

Wall types are rigid and are driven by fear. They associate certain objects or situations with fear, and they learn to avoid the things they fear or to perform rituals that help minimize those fears. The wall personality rejects anything unknown and has poor negotiating skills—they really don’t want to hear from anyone else. This fierce belief of control creates a rigid and stubborn personality. Their food selections can be obsessive and repetitive, and they often eat the same foods every day.


Predators come in many forms and can be classified by their intention: benign or malignant. A benign predator has minimal desire or intent to cause harm to another person, but is fiercely programmed to win. These kinds of predators thrive in business and sales. They love closing deals, starting and acquiring companies or winning a new customer. They feel a sense of accomplishment when seizing control of other properties and entities.

A predator personality differs from a fire personality in that a fire thrives on being active and being seen as a winner, whereas a malignant predator seeks to seize and control other entities, always giving less than is received. Predators often eat large amounts of meat and animal products.

Kali-fornia Chakra Collection

About ten years ago, while living in San Diego, I frequently led “Goddess Retreats,” all female, juice-fasting, yoga & hiking retreats in high-energy centers worldwide (Sedona, Maui, India, etc.). I kept a map of California pinned on the wall to the left of my desk and a globe to my right.

For some reason, I was having a ‘Sleepless in Rancho Santa Fe’ kind of a week, where I repeatedly woke up around 3am, unable to fall back asleep. After the fourth or fifth night of this unusual pattern, I went to my desk to do some writing. As I looked to my left, my eyes locked onto Mount Shasta, California. I instantly felt a very strong pull to this site. I started doing a little research online about Shasta, and I was very intrigued with the spiritual and natural writings about the town and mountain.

The very next night, as predicted, I again woke at 3am. I, once again, sat down at my desk, and this time when I looked at my map, I saw seven major cities in California connecting up the state, much like the seven energy chakras of our energetic bodies. Out loud I said, “it’s Kali-fornia!” altering the spelling after the goddess, Kali, who rules the first chakra. After all, California is reported to have been named after an African Queen, Califia, and the state seal features the Roman goddess on it’s crest.

The next morning I called a close friend of mine, Bobby Williams, who is the epitome of the masculine adventurer, rugged outdoorsman, and nature-lover. I said, “Bobby, I have to go to Shasta!” He answered without hesitation, “Let’s go!” Within a week, Bobby arrived at my home in San Diego in his white Bronco, ready to ascend California. Together we (he, the extreme masculine energy, and I, the extreme feminine energy) drove through all Kali-fornia Chakra’s from the base of the state (San Diego) to the crown (Mt. Shasta) – all in under 11 hours. Along the way, I took note of the centers and cities, and how they matched the energy of the Yogi Chakra system:

1. San Diego – I AM ABUNDANT – The Muladhara Chakra Tank is printed on a deep red tank, with the words “Kali-fornia Girl.” This center represents your “roots,” including the abundant soil that we root ourselves in. This center focuses on family, security, and abundance of mind, body and world. The back of this tank features the Sanskrit symbol, a list of attributes and the related Kali-fornina Chakra City, San Diego, residing at the base of California. Get Grounded! 

2. Los Angeles – I AM CREATIVE – The Svadhishthana Chakra Tank is printed on a coral tank with the word “FLOW,” reminding you to be fluid, creative and sensual. The back of this tank features the Sanskrit symbol, a list of attributes, and the Kali-fornina Chakra City of Los Angeles – the land of fluid illusions and creativity. Create your life! 

3. San Luis Obispo – I AM POWERFUL – The Manipura Chakra Tank is printed on a yellow tank with the words “I AM” followed by a smile symbol, reminding you of who you are at your core center, nurturing a healthy sense of self, and choosing a happy state of being regardless of circumstances. The back of this tank features the Sanskrit symbol, a list of attributes and the related Kali-fornina Chakra City, San Luis Obispo, known as the “Happiest Place in America.” Be Happy! 

4. San Francisco – I AM LOVE – The Anahata Chakra Tank is printed on a mint colored tank with the words “I LOVE YOU.” Live LOVE, unconditionally. The back of the tank features the Sanskrit symbol for this chakra, a list of attributes and the related Kali-fornina Chakra City, San Francisco. If you left your heart in San Fran, it might be time to get it back! 

5. Sacramento – I AM TRUE – The Vishuddha Chakra Tank is printed on a navy tank with the words “AZ.I.AM,” reminding you to live true to who you are, and to express yourself truthfully. The back of this tank features the Sanskrit symbol, a list of attributes, and the Kali-fornina Chakra City of Sacramento – the voice of Kali-fornia. Live True! 

6. Eureka / Napa Vineyard country – I AM INTUITIVE – The Anja Chakra Tank is printed on a violet tank with the words “IN 2 IT,” reminding you of your innate intuition. The back of this tank features the Sanskrit symbol, a list of attributes, and the Kali-fornina Chakra City of Eureka – center for a-ha realizations and the Purple Haze, psychedelic quality of Napa’s vineyards. Listen to your inner voice! 

7. Mount Shasta – I AM – The Sahasraha Chakra Tank is printed on a white tank with the word “NAMASTE,” center chest, reminding you that we are all One, made of the same pure Spirit source. The back of this tank features the Sanskrit symbol, a list of attributes, and the Kali-fornina Chakra City of Mount Shasta, which means “chaste” or “pure.” Be, as you are. As I AM.

Kali-fornia Girls, we’re undeniable.

How Detox Works with Mirror Theory™ to Process Past Experiences

I have been leading Detox Yoga Retreats for 15 years, and there is far more to detoxing than clearing your physical body and looking brighter and “better.” We are energy beings, and therefore our past experiences (and our attachment and association to them) affect how our bodies look and feel today. Yet, just like those pesky physical toxins, past unprocessed experiences learn to hide from our conscious mind while contributing to subconscious patterns that include altered opinions, perspectives and even what we attract in to our lives.

No-food detoxes can often set you up for more complications.

One of the biggest reasons that I do not recommend complete no-food detoxes (I always blend some whole fruits or vegetables into at each juice offering) is that they can often 1) shock a system abruptly to function in an opposing manner to natural health. If your body thinks that it is “starving,” it will hold onto it’s reserves more intensely, countering your probable intention of moving your metabolism faster. The detox process should be an act of self-care, not one that’s rife with feelings of deprivation and struggle. 2) There are often hidden, intense emotions waiting to be released and processed in a conscious and healthy way. Essentially, this means getting a deeper understanding of our feelings, why we are feeling that way, and what to do with these feelings to move on in a more present, wiser state of being.

Another key point to note is that not only are we energetic beings, we are all connected energetically. Therefore, we all have an effect on the collective whole. When we begin taking control over our own states, we begin to empower ourselves. If we use this consciousness with a positive alignment with the greater Truth Consciousness (Nature), we begin the “detox” process of not only ourselves, but those we are energetically connected to (which is everyone). We may work through life times of cleansing and processing, and a lesser seen benefit is that we are detoxing the world around us. We become the change.

I am doing a series of seven Detox Yoga Retreats until March, 2015. Personally, I am elated at the opportunity that has unfolded for me. Not only am I detoxing with my groups, I am adding the powerful element of service to my work, and besides bringing me great joy – it magnifies the detox experience in a more positive way.

When I first started these Retreats 15 years ago, I called them Goddess Retreats. They were women-only, spiritually charged yoga and juice cleansing weekends filled with pure magic. The second or third group that I had coined the term “Goddess Gazette” after our post-cleanse trail of “synchronicities” that we would share with each other, which were basically the natural magic that unfolded after a weekend of clearing and “centering.”

In my book, As I Am, I discuss Mirror Theory™, which is a literal mirror awareness interpretation of one’s perceiving reality. My favorite quote by Henry David Thoreau defines this best: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.” As we start to increase our awareness of what we are projecting and assessing, we begin to understand our psychological blueprint with greater detail. It is when we are fully aware of our programming that we can begin to make desired changes.

Last month (September) was my first of seven Retreats in this series. When I left the retreat, my focus was drawn intensely to a news event – the Hannah Graham disappearance in Charlottesville, VA. I was deeply devastated and followed the news throughout the day. Mirror Theory™ had initiated, but it wasn’t until a couple days after that I started to unify the “detox effect” with my interest in this missing persons case.

When I was in college – my sophomore year – I found my roommate raped and horrifically beaten near death. I was unable to process that experience even while it was happening. I had called the paramedics, thinking that my “roommate had choked on her vomit,” but it wasn’t until I was walking behind the arriving paramedics that the picture became more clear. The paramedics literally stepped back when entering my roommate’s bedroom. One of them said, “Jesus, look at all of this blood.” At that very moment, the room that I had spent the last 30 minutes in, colored red. I had not seen the blood before, probably because I was unable to process it, and properly function to get help. I often think of that moment, and wonder what other people see – because we aren’t all perceiving the same things in the same way.

Without going in to major details, I spun into a fury of anxiety at that time in my life. My nickname in college became “Holmes,” because I was determined to figure out who had done this to my roommate. I couldn’t sleep, because every time I closed my eyes, I saw him waiting for me when I climbed through the bathroom window that night, since my roommate wasn’t answering the door to let me in. Or I felt him looking over me when I woke up abruptly to hear the front door shut shortly afterwards – when none of my other roommates came home that night. The anxiety protected me from these difficult to process emotions, but they were running a program in my life for the last 20 years that I was not conscious of, until last month.

I saw the suspect in the Hannah Graham case, Jesse Matthew. He looked similar to the perpetrator who was eventually convicted in my roommate’s case. For a week after the September Detox Yoga Retreat, I was flooded with memories of what happened the night I found my roommate. Instead of letting these memories ignite fear, anxiety (as they had in the past), or seek to find a similar experience to solve (hoping to eradicate the source experience with a surrogate one), I researched transcripts from the trial, and basically gave myself permission to consciously understand what had happened so long ago, realize how it was affecting my life today, and choose how to process and apply the experience.

How Emotions Work

There have been debates in many disciplines for centuries about how emotions work. Some new work has attempted to synthesize all of these understandings (Gross & Thompson, 2007), and basically it goes like this:

1) We have contact with a stimulus (an event, object, situation, sensation, or thought).

2) We pay attention to this stimulus.

3) We have an interpretation of the stimulus.

4) We have an emotional/physiological reaction to the stimulus.

If #2 is missed, the experience will lodge in our somatic body, waiting for a time for us to deal with it, and we risk a great chance of spinning an unprocessed program on our hard-drive until that occurs. I trust that you can imagine how this could slow down the operating system as a whole, as well as efficient and reality-based functioning. When we are in a “fight or flight” mode, we are not taking time to process deeper emotions. By taking a weekend to detox, you inevitably initiate a greater self-awareness process, as well as aligning with a greater power of Truth. I have seen phenomenal, unexpected occurrences happen after a weekend detox, and 100% of the time, participants have stated that it was “perfectly what I did not know that I needed.”

I have made peace as best that I can with what happened during my sophomore year at college, in hopes to be a more present, powerful person using all of my experiences to increase awareness of a greater good. There is certainly plenty of ignorance in our world, but allowing ourselves to be negatively affected by it only increases it’s power. I am deeply saddened for all victims of assault and violence, and I pray for a more positive and conscious world. My clothing brand, AZIAM, manufactures ‘Wife Lover’ Tanks, and I take great pride in the fact that every purchase of a Wife Lover benefits a victim of a wife beater, as  20% of each sale is donated to The Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization committed to aiding victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

I am looking forward to see what unfolds during the next Retreats – I will keep you posted!

Benefits of Detoxing with a Juice Cleanse

Even if you may eat incredibly healthy, exercise regularly and take great care of your body, we all still live in an era where our water supply is not pure, our soils are depleted of minerals, packaged foods contain preservatives and chemical agents that are unnatural, our air is highly polluted, etc.

We also understand that you’ve got a busy lifestyle, and sometimes you get caught up in the fast pace of it all. AZIAM’s Detox Yoga Retreat weekends are meant to help you take a little time for yourself; to sit down and think about what you eat, the environment you work in, the air that you breathe, and even the relationships that you are in. It can be a little overwhelming to confront how much toxicity is in our lives.

It’s easier, in a way, to look at fast-food junkies and think they’re the only ones who could benefit from juice cleansing, but consider this: for most people, it takes almost 18 hours for your body to digest and eliminate one meal. So add up three meals a day plus snacks, and the effect that stress has on your ability to digest… your digestive system is working nearly nonstop! All bodies – no matter what their intake – can reap the benefits of juicing to help assist in the heavy load of work the digestive system in undertaking 24-hours a day. Juice cleansing is also a great way to give our bodies the break they deserve while re-focusing our energies where they are best serving you.

AZIAM’s Detox Yoga program gives you a delicious, nutritious, and organic selection of drinks, loaded with Superfoods to help take the guess work out of juicing, giving you simple and clean ingredients so that you can stay focused on your process, progress and healing. Every juice we make is 100% natural, with no added sugars or water. We believe that not having to think about what to eat is another great benefit of juice cleansing. In place of all that mind consumption, you can shift your energy back towards yourself while detoxifying your mind, body and spirit. There are no limits to what you can achieve in your life, and it is to your great benefit to use the vehicle of a healthy, nurtured body that functions at its optimal level. Think of your cleanse as you taking your vehicle in for a yearly tune-up, and when it’s done, you can expect to feel clearer, more optimistic and rejuvenated on the inside, while radiating a truer essence of you on the outside.

The Water

The healing, mineral water in Desert Hot Springs sources from one of the greatest natural geothermal mineral springs regions in the world. The entire town’s plumbing system is connected to these mineral wells, and our hotel sits right on top of the main well. Your showers are pouring out the mineral water, and the faucet water is better than a $5 bottle of mineral water at the health food store. You will notice that your hair will feel softer and fuller, your skin more plump and clear, and your body will feel more hydrated inside as well.

Preparing For Your Cleanse (optional suggestion – 1 week prior)

  • Make 1 quart of lemon water to drink throughout the day
  • Start your day with an 8 oz glass of lemon water
  • Eat only fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains like millet, quinoa, or brown rice (try to avoid wheat)
  • Drink only non-caffeinated herbal teas and water
  • Limit spices
  • Olive/Flaxseed/Coconut oil is ok
  • No products with food additives, artificial sweeteners, white flour, added sugar, processed foods, junk foods, dairy, chicken, fish, meat, and/or soy products
  • Start and/or end your day with a 30 minute brisk walk followed by some hatha yoga, if possible
  • Drink a cup of “Smooth Move” tea before going to bed

 Possible Side Effects

As your body releases stored toxins, you may experience side effects such as headaches, mood swings, changes in bowel movements, skin inflammation, irritability, dark urine, and/or a metallic taste in your mouth. These should go away a few days into the detox or soon after you finish. If you feel overly fatigued during your cleanse, you can drink a gentle laxative tea first thing in the morning, as well as before going to bed. This will help move the toxins through your body more quickly.

Can We Keep It Real?

We currently live in a very power hungry, ego-driven, illusion-based and overindulgent in consumerism world. Sadly, this only seems to be getting worse. I have been watching several psychology studies over the last few years that confirm a rise in sociopathy in America  – with a vast increase in anti-social behavior in our children. I believe that this is a natural survival extension of our world’s twisted paradigm, as well as in part to how we now tend to communicate with each other (via text, email, social media, etc.). We no longer have to be as responsible for our feelings and actions, or care about how someone else feels.

 I was really devastated with the passing of Robin Williams, like most of you, and at how he took his own life. It hit me in a very profound way. Is our culture elbowing out those who care, who feel and who reach out their hand to help others? It is a rare event in itself that we were able to witness such a true, pure, (bleeding) heart as we saw in Robin Williams. He had so much love, and every action that he took was to make someone else feel better. How amazing is that?! Whether it was his past drug and alcohol abuse that expanded his awareness, or deeper childhood wounds driving him to understand the flaws of society, it is clear that he could see straight through the illusions of the world, especially the illusions of Hollywood that he refused to cloak himself with. Not many can understand such realities, let alone express them so hilariously as he did.

The increased violence in Syria, Iraq, Isreal, Africa and many other places throughout the world is alarming and discouraging. In my opinion, these jihads are not attracted to the religious aspect of being Muslim, they are angry individuals who are attracted to the misinterpreted violence. They are fueled, no doubt, by many things, with “Hollywoodism,” being one, so they say. I don’t think that they understand the incredible illusion of Hollywood, and they (believing the world of the “Rich and Famous”) feel deprived, left-out, “less-than.” It feels like an argument that spun from a non-verbal text misunderstanding – you know the kind, right? Where an argument arose out of misperception? Where both parties clung to their own assumptions and created a war from nothing? Except now these jihad’s misperceptions and subsequent feelings of alienation have a vengeance and a mission of their own. You and I know a little differently.

 Personally, from having met a few celebrities in my day, I know that they are no different than the rest of us – in fact, I tend to feel more sorry for them when almost inevitably they begin to believe their own illusions, because it is then that they risk losing a chance at true self-actualization. What I love about the surge in talent-search reality shows is that we see how much true talent there is in the world. And anyone can be a “celebrity,” for which talent is not required. Being based in Los Angeles, I teach many celebrities purely because that is where I live and work. Aside from a few that I have met and worked with, they tend to have deeper insecurities, fears and anxieties than most people I know (we all have them, but pretending that we don’t feeds the realm of illusion). I have also been able to witness first-hand their “team” – whose sole job is to assure that their moments in front of the camera tell a different story, one that can be marketed and profited from. They are made-up, styled, rehearsed, staged, pre-recorded, photo-shopped, audio-tuned, tweeked, nipped and tucked to present their illusion. Doesn’t that sound awful?

As many of you know, I studied child development in college, and I can’t help but wish that children all over the world had the opportunities to self-realization. My heart breaks seeing children lying murdered in the streets, and their potential stolen from them. We do not have a choice if we want to avoid more global suffering. Our planet cannot sustain so much greed and violence, and our societies will be negatively compromised. We have to return to what is real and natural.

In light of the increased violence in the world today, I felt it fitting to add a weekly Pray It Forward in all of our represented cities. The world needs peace, and we cannot sit back helplessly watching so much violence. We are part of the energetic fibers of this world and we can make a positive change.

AZIAM Yoga  has now added free Pray It Forward meditation classes with all of our current CLK Yoga – Pay It Forward  instructors. If you would like to be part of our movement, please email Some instructors teach once a month, others once a week. The yoga is free, our guests Pay It Forward with a sincere act of kindness.

I have added SUNDAY’s at 7pm – Palisades Park in Santa Monica for our (free) Pray It Forward Meditation for Peace offerings.



Energizing Summer Salad

Here is a delicious Summer Salad recipe to add to your favorites! Loaded with health enhancing properties and with a vegan or non-vegan (chicken) option, this is sure to delight you and your guests with the perfect blend of tastes and feel-good effect!

  • 1 lb Organic Baked chicken breast (chopped) *optional*
  • 1 Organic Cucumber diced
  • 1 Organic Avocado diced
  • 1 pint of Organic Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 4-5 Leaves Organic Fresh Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon melted Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar.
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Raw local honey to taste (optional)
  • Lots of love and good energy

1. Combine chicken, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl mix balsamic vinegar, coconut oil, and apple cider to make a dressing.
3. Pour dressing in mixing bowl with chicken and veggies.
4. Mix in basil leaves, honey, and sea salt to taste.
5. Add in lots of love energy and gratitude!

Health Benefits from this Recipe

Basil: Reduces inflammation and swelling. Anti-aging properties.
Tomatoes: Rich in antioxidants. Antimicrobial properties.
Avocado: Rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Antifungal properties. 

Hot Oil Coconut Milk Hair Treatment

Enjoy one of our favorite hot oil treatment hair masks from As I Am‘s  Day 8’s Self-Care Treatment. This really makes your hair feel more manageable, shiner and naturally healthier!


• 1 can unsweetened coconut milk

• 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil


1. The night before your treatment, pour a can of unsweetened coconut milk in a bowl and refrigerate overnight so it hardens.

2. Warm the coconut oil. Massage to scalp and hair.

3. Apply the hardened milk from roots to ends over the coconut oil.

4. Comb the mixture through your hair.

5. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Shampoo, rinse and comb out.

If you have dry ends but your scalp tends to get oily, apply this mask only to the bottom half of hair, keeping it away from your scalp.

I AM More Than T & A

After years of watching my dog interact with other dogs, I have come to view the animalistic nature of sexual attraction to include a desire to dominate another being (although I also believe in more evolved and love-based relationships that many humans experience and seek). Who’s the bigger dog that is going to dominate, pro-create and therefore survive?

As the yoga culture continues to increase worldwide, I am seeing more examples of these primitive human characteristics and the objectification of a female yogi seeping into this pop-culture community that was once based on an eight-limbed path to enlightenment.

I have had this blog swirling in my mind, waiting to be written for many years now, but I did not want to express it from a judgmental or personal perspective. Last week, however, I had an experience that cracked the eggshell. I practiced yoga next to another yoga instructor. I couldn’t help but stare at her overly Botoxed, frozen face when she introduced herself, and I found my heart swelling with sadness for what seemed to be a woman projecting some illusion of beauty. Then she took off her top, revealing melon-shaped implants spilling over her sports top. I smiled more from compassion than approval, as having taught in Beverly Hills for 15 years, I understand the insecurity that lies beneath most fillers and implants.

It wasn’t until I saw her practice that I knew it was time to share this blog. She told me of her neck issues, joint pain and physical limitations. I wasn’t shocked at that, knowing the side effects of breast implants and toxic fillers – what did shock me is that a yoga instructor would consciously forego her health for a desire to be a commercialized form of “sexy.” I have learned to accept this choice with the actresses and models that I teach, but a yoga instructor? I am truly not judging her, because 1) maybe she hasn’t made the connection and 2) I understand both the temptation and the consequences, but I felt it was time to open the conversation.


Being Barbie

Anyone can buy a Barbie face and body. Have you ever been to a ladyboy or drag show where men transform into stunning glamour girls? This modern day recipe for “sexy” includes the following: breast implants, butt implants, nose job, Botox, lip and facial fillers, hair extensions and weaves, false eye lashes, fake nails and pounds of cover-up and make-up. Anyone, let me repeat, anyone, can be this – man, woman or Kardashian – and much like a Louis Vuitton bag, people carry their silicone baggies as if they are better people for having them.

My question is, why would anyone want to relish in something that is inauthentic, fake and that anyone can have? There is so much more beauty and character in loving and being who you truly are (pan to Meryl Streep) while also attracting someone who loves you for just that. I will share with you my opinion: because it sends an instantaneous, non-verbal message that one is looking to be desired. As in any business exchange, when you know that someone wants something, they are easier to be negotiated and bought. Therefore those looking to “win” will be attracted to those with obvious signs of trying to appear sexier – since that translates as a higher chance to succeed. Unfortunately, far too many people falsely perceive being desired with being loved.

When I see someone with obvious and excessive elective plastic surgery, I instantly equate it with someone who is not happy with who they are (not always, but most of the time – and my comments and opinions exclude breast cancer survivors who use medical breast implants how they were originally intended). I completely appreciate artful and subtle procedures to enhance one’s natural beauty and negate the effects of aging. For those looking to hide or run from who they are however, it is a dangerous tool to use. Any professional athlete, detective, shrewd business person, or war soldier will tell you that any sign of a person lacking self-confidence creates an opportunity to dominate, control and possibly acquire them. Most plastic surgery procedures require one to literally be cut open, have needles injected into them, and spend a lot of money gambling to achieve something “better”. Well, if you’re gambling, you probably don’t think that you have much to lose. In just a few seconds, this is translated as “easy.” And being easy is more of what is attractive than any extraordinary show of beauty. In my latest book, As I Am, I outline seven personality types based on common food choices and behavior characteristics. The Predator personality type loves to win and acquire, and they (consciously or not) seek those who they can easily objectify and dominate.

Let’s start with some basic facts about plastic surgery:

1) Breast and gluteal implants are literally silicone covered baggies stuffed into either a person’s chest cavity or under their gluteus maximus muscles. Yes, baggies – that’s what they are, and muscles and vital tissue are cut to get these baggies in place.

2) Scar tissue accumulates around all implants as a means for the body to protect itself from the foreign object and the microbes that grow on them.

3) Mold and bacteria collect around and inside both silicone and saline implants (not so sexy).

4) Botox is made from botulism, which is one of, if not the most toxic substance known on earth.

5) Did you know that stem cells live in fat? Healthy fat is an asset, not a nuisance to be vacuumed away and condemned. Also, there are increasing studies showing that bigger-hipped women have higher IQs, a longer life expectancy and smarter kids. So enjoy your natural, healthy curves – real ones have benefits that fake ones lack.

Ring of Power

Similar to Froto in The Lord of the Ringswomen hold the ultimate power and control over what is defined as a sexy woman. Sadly, the majority of women have been led to believe otherwise (that they are powerless) and therefore succumb to the ignorant trends in our societies today (sexual objectification and/or sexual submission). If women truly embraced their natural beauty and respected their value as powerful, feminine human beings, men would have no choice than to follow their example (as some do).

As I mentioned, I am certainly not denying the magnificence and artistry of beauty, or subtle plastic surgery (if one is willing to gamble all of the risks), because I also know that Gravity is not always our friend. I hope to see greater advances in this field of medicine with more natural results and materials, and doctors looking to enhance instead of transform. However, I do seek to incorporate the understanding of asteya (the aspect of non-stealing) as defined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to illustrate that when one’s obsession with image overrides self-love, health, personal authenticity and purpose, it lacks integrity. How is it that we can appreciate Mona Lisa’s beautiful Roman nose, yet negate our own artistry? Would you appreciate a forged or photoshopped Picasso? A well-restored Picasso, sure, but a Picasso manufactured to look like a Matisse? Probably not.

Personally, I find natural women infinitely more attractive for a couple reasons: 1) because they are real, and there is no accomplishment associated with plastic surgery as there is with loving oneself, 2) natural women tend to be healthier, therefore radiating happiness, which is truly as beautiful and sexy as it gets. Scar tissue diminishes energy flow and we are live, energy beings. Living with toxic silicone baggies and scar tissue inside one’s body diminishes energy flow, as well as overall systemic functioning. It may suit some women to diminish their heart chakra – they may fair better in business and/or less love-based sex, but it may be a hearty price to pay to block the exquisite feeling of being loved for who you are.

99% of the characteristic Beverly Hills women that I have taught yoga to over the years (who choose multiple elective surgery procedures) suffer from some form of inflammatory illness; be that joint pain, arthritis, digestive imbalances, skin rashes, allergies, asthma, severe migraines, etc., and from my experiences, they are never as happy as they pretend to be. Ironically, I often find myself thinking, “She would be so pretty if she hadn’t put that stuff in her lips.”

Many people wonder about these health-related consequences. Why are some people more affected than others? Well, it is the same answer as to why some people become ill before others do when exposed to the same toxic elements. There is an accumulative effect of toxins vs. the immunity supporting forces that counteract them. Ironically, women often receive more attention and affection after a new procedure, which they equate as love. The endorphins that follow the feeling of love can support one’s immune system, even though the toxic source is still there. Eventually, however, the toxins tend to win. It is up to each person to decide if it is worth gambling with their health and committing to an illusion, all the while contributing to the global objectification of women and diminishing self-esteem in the young girls exposed to it.

I know that I am fortunate to be an attractive woman with a fit, flexible, and beautiful body. I say this not to brag,  only to illustrate that I am not whining from a position of lack or perceived inequality. I know that I can use this to my “advantage,” but here is the thing: I consciously choose not to. I honor and respect my path, other people’s path, and Nature too much to manipulate them. Similar to exercising the strength to focus my mind or defy gravity in my postures, I choose not to take actions that lack integrity. Yet, our world is set up to support those who do and I have been criticized for stepping away from the easy and seductive paradigms that we currently live with.

I believe one major reason that our natural resources are rapidly diminishing worldwide lies in that individual desires outweigh the needs of humanity as a whole. With that said, most people are looking to “win” or “score” in each moment of their lives. When do we stop to 1) give back unconditionally, and 2) be content with what we have, as it is? Hey, I live in LA, so I know that it is much worse here, but only because it is somewhat acceptable to be superficial and show one’s selfish motives here. Greed is everywhere, however, and it doesn’t take much to seduce someone to reveal how selfish they can become. It takes conscious effort to practice integrity, kindness and live with a unity consciousness mindset. This is what will create a greater humanity, and this I would truly love to see.

Personally, I would much rather be alone, loving myself authentically and truthfully than to be in anyone’s company that loves me for who I am not. The endless, seductive road trying to look like a photoshopped supermodel is truly a pathway that is not only very difficult to escape once you are on it, but begins to chip away at the essence of who you truly are. In my opinion, it is men who play with dolls much more than little girls do, in our society. Have you ever wondered about celebrity men who seem to serial date supermodels? Supermodels define sexual objectification, their choice of work often indicates that they desire to be wanted (easier to control) and their frail, boy-like bodies seem easier to dominate than a hearty, healthy woman would be. Poor Ken wouldn’t even have a chance.

What this all stems down to is integrity and self-realization. It is obvious when a car is stolen from its parking space, and we can use physical evidence to convict someone of the crime. Trademark attorneys, likewise, work to protect the intellectual properties of those who own them. Yet, the world-renowned “guru” that I worked for with a long list of sexual harassment charges and plagiarism lawsuits defies public detection because our society enables predators. The demographic of people unceasingly obsessed with their image, spending their precious energy and life trying to look like someone else is also encouraged in nearly all aspects of media. Hey, my own “friends” have knocked off creative concepts that I shared with them – globally, our monkey minds are still dominated by what we can take from the outside world instead of what we can sincerely give, share, or in the least, honor our sources. One of my favorite practices of yoga is honoring each guru for their contribution. Nowadays, however, original content is copied and pasted by others who simply put their name on it.

None of this is appealing to me, yet it is far more common than not. After years of wondering if I have self-sabotaged profitable opportunities, I have come to embrace that I simply prefer to be true to who I am and surround myself with those who are also true to who they are. I personally have no desire to conform to our world’s set-up of “how to win the Hunger Games” if doing so compromises my authenticity and purpose.

Patanjali states that desire is the root cause of any form of stealing (be this a physical possession, persona, facial features, or even assuming the ideology or creative concept of another as your own); therefore the practice of asteya (non-stealing) is focused on simple living. The objective of yoga is to become self-dependent, self-empowered, authentic and harmless beings. Anytime that you need someone or something to feel a certain way, you are in a co-dependent and unempowered relationship. When someone is selling sex there is most often something that person lacks or an underlying insecurity to his or her seduction (seeking money, affection, etc). This is completely different than loving playfulness between respectful and conscious partners.

Can we at least agree that we all contribute to our collective consciousness? We’re in this together, stuck in an unbreakable web of inter-connectedness. Aside from the amount of non-degradable toxic waste that plastic surgery contributes to our already compromised planet, it simply shows how weak and unaccepting of reality that we are, as a whole. Sometimes I feel like an actor in the TV series, Planet of the Apes, and I am not referring to the primates with tails. I dream of living in an organic, conscious, truthfully positive and reality-based world. I know that I am so much more than how I look and I believe that Nature holds far more power than our man-made world. I am an intelligent, loving, naturally sexy woman seeking self-actualization while contributing to a healthier world for all to live. I believe this to be a wiser investment with my energy than hiding behind an altered physical image of a doll that anyone can buy.

Inspired by Chocolate

Three years ago my life took an unexpected turn down Chocolate Lane. Not the one in which I sat on my couch, feeling down and out… endlessly pounding Hershey bars, contemplating what to do with my life. It was quite the opposite, actually, and I believe it was mere fate that I have now found myself using the power of chocolate to inspire everyone around me.

Let me take a few steps back. I moved to San Diego from the East Coast a in 2011, searching for inspiration within the medical field. After realizing the lack of success that Western medicine has had on preventing and eliminating disease (cancer, specifically), I took to the holistic streets. With a backpack full of fitness and nutritional certifications I invested my time influencing and changing peoples lifestyles in a more positive manner. It was simply amazing to see some of the worst health case diagnoses disappear with consistent natural healthy lifestyle choices, and the best part was to see people who had once felt in despair smiling again and enjoying their lives.

Out of this newfound love for nutritional healing I stumbled upon one of the most nutritionally rich superfoods on the planet, which had been sitting right under my nose my entire life. CACAO!! However you pronounce it; cacoa, cacao, chocolate has been savored by all cultures as a guilty pleasure since the beginning of time. Real chocolate in its raw state is an amazing superfood that holds extraordinary antioxidant and nutrient power. How could this be true, I thought? The more research that I did, the sooner I realized that the processed chocolate as we all know it is nothing like its raw bean form sprouted from a tree.

Chocolate was first discovered by the Mayans and Incans as Theobroma Cacao, “Food of the Gods”, and eaten directly from the chocolate tree…raw. Current day “chocolate” is far, far from its origins. The majority of consumer chocolate today is destroyed by heat processing, refining and pumping of terrible sugars. As a result, it lacks any nutritional benefit, and even further it acts as a negative vice to our health.

Top 5 health benefits of raw cacao:

• Raw cacao is the #1 antioxidant source – higher than acai, goji berries and blueberries combined.

• Raw cacao is one of the highest sources of Magnesium. Magnesium is one of the top 3 vitamin/mineral deficiencies in our western diet behind Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

• Raw cacao contains over 1,2000 phytonutrients that help regulate almost all cell processes in our bodies.

• Raw cacao contains zero sugar.

• Raw cacao helps control blood sugar and blood pressure, necessary to prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Inspired and perplexed by cacaos nutritional value I felt it was time to take it back to the early Mayan days. For those of you who inspire to live healthier AND love chocolate, get your hands on either some raw cacao beans, nibs or even powder. Aside from the health benefits I listed above, they will blow your taste buds away! Not to mention how invigorating and guilt free that you will feel for indulging in a rich, delicious treat that is 100% good for you. Both the powder and nibs are the raw cacao beans that are simply ground up from the bean. They are all equally healthy for you. I find that the powder is best mixed into smoothies, for those who enjoy shakes and smoothies.

As for my story, I spent countless mornings taking raw cacao beans, which grow in pods on 10-15 ft tall chocolate trees, and fusing them with some of the world’s highest quality organic spices, all in a tasty beverage form. That’s it…spices and cacao! This concoction has positively changed my life. The reason for all of my research and experimenting was to create a truly clean and invigorating raw cacao product that would literally change the definition of chocolate. It was such a fun experience covering my kitchen walls with chocolate… and even more humorous explaining the 5th grade science experiment mess to my landlord. In the end it was worth it. One year later, Rau Chocolate was born – the first raw chocolate health beverage with no dairy, no sugar, no gluten, no nothing! Clean and healthy…the way chocolate should be, and bottled to make it easy to carry and easy to drink.

I have created a loving life for myself, driven by my deep passion for true healing. I am proud to be a pioneer changing the way our world experiences chocolate and proud to admit chocolate inspired my life. Follow your passion…you’ll never know where it leads you to next. Cheers to the bean that changed my life!

Keep it simple. Keep it Rau. Bottoms Up!