[Self Discovery] Yoga: Soothe Your Mind, Body and Soul

Standard

img_4137

When I was a kid, it seemed so much simpler to squeeze everything into one solid day – school here, homework there, sports teams, arts and crafts, hanging out with friends and alone time all seemed to fit within the confines of a 24 hour period  The older I get, the more I wonder what happened to all those seemingly infinite minutes and seconds. Some days I’m the world’s youngest adult, other it feels I’m the world’s oldest child and I find that I often oscillate between the two feelings rather frequently. My mind is more reminiscent of a child, full of wonder and amazement – but my body, well – it likes to remind me that I’m getting older; and older bodies tend to pop, crack and ache far more than young ones.

Between grinding on the job, keeping up the apartment and a few hobbies which I refuse to give up – it sometimes feels hard to strike a balance that puts my mind, body and soul at ease.  Between my eager drive to engage myself in what feels like every activity and an urge to fully immerse myself in the moment without anxiety, it’s a blessing that I finally discovered how to calm my nerves with yoga.

The practice itself wasn’t new for me, back when I lived in West Hollywood I found a Groupon for a place called Liberation Yoga.  The studio was lovely, but dim, and the instructors were better suited for the more advanced classes – meaning I quite often felt left in the dust.  When the Groupon expired, so did my presence from the facility – but my interest in yoga only grew.  I got a few DVDs and a mat, searched for a few podcasts – but it wasn’t until recently, with frequency and repetition, that I’ve truly noticed a formidable change in my emotional and mental temperaments while my body relaxes and my soul expands.

As a former athlete, my body craves physical challenges like an intellectual drinks literature and eats crossword puzzles for brunch.  Running can clear my mind and the gym always pumps me up, but there’s a soothing rhythm that yoga places me in for the day that’s unlike anything else I’ve experienced. Exercise shouldn’t only be good for one vertical of your ever changing reality, it must be good for all three of your bodies – your mental body, your emotional body and your physical body.

 

Image result for yoga silhouette sunset

I could write a whole post just listing the health benefits of yoga – so the Cliffnotes version goes something like this: a regular yoga practice can improve flexibility and posture, increases blood flow, reduces joint inflammation, lower blood pressure, improves balance and develops muscle tone.

With the multitude of yoga studios popping up around towns like hot cakes you’ll definitely find a class that’s tailored for you, and whether you elect to join a ‘chill’ class or prefer a kickass cardio boost, you’ll get your blood pumping and heart opening in no time. Not to mention, most studios have monthly packages which give you a discount rate if you go to enough classes – my weapon of choice, if you will.

Classes themselves aren’t without their challenges, but for me that’s half the fun – daring my body to try new poses, push my mind clear of all thought and marinate in my time on the mat. Yoga naturally limbers your body, muscles, joints and all – while stretching every fiber of your being. I’ve never been more aware of the muscles in the back of my legs until I met the chair pose, and I’ve yet to find a flexibility pose that my body doesn’t melt into.

Yoga is a lot like sex ,or pizza – depending on how you view the world: it’s never bad, and you always leave feeling fulfilled. Beyond it’s physical benefits, the repeated, deep breathing paired with meditation allows your mind to enter a mindful universe where only the room, your yoga squad and your yogi reside. To be fully aware of the moment means that you need to fully engage and immerse yourself within its depths, reject anxiety and fear as unnecessary and commit to simply being while your breathing finds a resonant pattern.  I always find myself walking away from class with an extra bounce in my step and a smile on my face, ready to tackle the day in a confident manner.

When we leave our egos at the door, our yoga practices have the opportunity to engage us on an emotional level. My teacher said in class this week that our practices reflect our lifestyles, If we find ourselves rushed, our practice will also be rushed; if we are aggressive with the world, we discover that we’re aggressive with ourselves in practice.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling with finding my internal balance, truly struggling but in beautiful dichotomy, I’ll always find a way to compromise between people, or things, or whatever.  Suffice it to say, I’ve found I’m an incredibly bendy yogi that has terrible, awful balance – but as I learn to center myself within my life, I’ve found I can center myself in my practice.

Have you gone over to the yogi side? What are your favorite benefits of practicing yoga? Let me know in the comments below!

Image result for yoga silhouette sunset

 

[Tech Talk] Painting and Photography Collide with Prisma

Standard

img_3667

Have you ever wanted to marinate inside of a moment? Venture into mind melding visions of alternate realities while mediating comfortably in place? If you’re my kind of human, then you’re answer is undeniably, unequivocally – yes.  In my opinion, we’re all several shades of guilty – from real dreaming to daydreaming, and everything in between, as humans our escape fantasies eagerly, effortlessly and egregiously effuse from our souls like pheromones in search of a higher purpose, catalyzing creativity and breaking us free of old molds and mindsets.  To me, it’s part of the reason we create, coddle and crave the arts: through music, literature, art and theater – we discover new, previously hidden parts of our personalities while filling our soul with passion like a warm meal on a cold night.

Photography is an out of body experience where distortions of reality, mind melding visions of what’s possible and bends in time and space, painting – double so.  But unfortunately some of us (waves hand), weren’t blessed with a drawing gene or with a paintbrush in their hand  My stick figures are relatively lackluster and the cat face I’ve been trying to draw for the last 31 years hasn’t gotten much better. Suffice it to say, I’m in awe of true artistry when it comes to painting, drawing and all things in between and will try ad nauseam. So, when I caught wind of a photo app that alters your images with filters of popular artists – I was immediately sold; hook, line and sinker.

It’s happened before, and my heart swoons as it happens over, and over again: every once in a blue moon, a smart phone photography fad stops me dead in my tracks and requires hours of endless exploration.  Now that we’re 7 solid months into this year, I can safely proclaim that Prisma has been that app. Just a quick upload of a square sized photo (thank you, Instagram), and you’ll be on your way to fantastical results.  Once inside the app, Prisma applies an intricate and advanced learning algorithm to your photos that combines artificial intelligence with neural networks.  Basically, it’s like Deep Dream, Photoshop and Instagram had a psychedelic love child and it doesn’t matter if that last sentence made sense to you or not – because any way that cookie crumbles, the results are simply stunning.

Try on the tantalizing stylings of esteemed artists ranging from contemporary pop art legends Roy Litchenstein and Andy Warhol to classic stylings of Van Gaugh and Picasso, with detailed renderings that from a repository that looks like the lovechild of Android Jones art, fractals and street art.  There are also nods to artists such as Miyazaki, Kadinsky, Mucha, Chagall, Hokusai and Kadinsky – as well as eras of artistic prowess like Impressionism, Gothic Art, Manga, and more. Once your new work of art manifests in front of your eyes, you’ll have the option of taking the photo at 100 proof, or adjusting the edits down to a smaller scale.  If you just tap into your settings you can remove the watermark from the app, and last but certainly not least – it’s free! The only slight downfall of the application is the need to be connected to the Internet to query the algorithms to work – as the app gains popularity, the servers are also noticing a surge and have rendered themselves as over capacity; quick solution – just try, as try again – you’ll get through eventually!


From top, Left to Right: Tears, Urban, Tokyo, #GettUrban, Illegal Beauty, Dreams, Mononoke, Gothic, Curly Hair

My current favorite filters include Tokyo, Urban, and the Natalie Ratkovski-inspired Illegal Beauty – and I think I’ve even found a favorite way of manipulating the photos a second time using Instagram’s Layout app and creating a photo stack from the same image.  The results? All sorts of magical.

 

Did I pique your photography curiosity? i surely hope so, this is one of the most fun photography apps I’ve played with in a while – and admittedly, I play with a LOT!  The proof is in the blogged pudding, head here to check it out

Download for iOS | Download for Android

For fantastic edits and more information on Prisma, head to their website or social channels:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

[The Audiofiles] Feast Your Ears & Eye’s on Flume’s Latest World Tour

Standard

This coming weekend, Australian dance music phenom and Future Music pioneer Flume is on a mission to light up Los Angeles with not just one, or two performances – but four incredible nights of music and magic at the fabled Shrine Expo Hall. The delectable and delicate tones paired with ethereal vocalists and seductive basslines on Flume’s second album ‘Skin’ have reinvigorated his fanbase tenfold and left us all eagerly waiting for more, existing as an audiovisual masterpiece that should be both seen and heard.

‘Skin’ Interactive Album Site | Buy ‘Skin’ on iTunes

Now that the album has had a chance to marinate in the ears of fans around the globe, it’s only right that Flume depart on a World Tour to bring the ‘Skin’ experience front and center. The North American leg of the World Tour began Seattle, then bounced out to our neighbors in the far North in Vancouver – and finally, this week – Flume lands in Los Angeles, and our city is ready for liftoff. For four nights, Flume’s musical prowess will grace the stage to the delight of eager audiophiles and music lovers. Details on each date below.

Wednesday, August 10 at Shrine Expo Hall
18 & Over
Doors 8:00 PM
Show 8:30 PM
On Sale Friday, 5/20 at 10AM
Support: SOPHIE & HWLS.
8/10 Show Info

Thursday, August 11 at Shrine Expo Hall
18 & Over
Doors 8:00 PM
Show 8:30 PM
Support: Vince Staples & HWLS
8/11 Show Info

Friday, August 12 at Shrine Expo Hall
18 & Over
Doors 9:00 PM
Show 9:30 PM
Support: Shlohmo & HWLS
Friday 8/12 Show Info

Saturday, August 13 at Shrine Expo Hall
18 & Over
Doors 9:00 PM
Show 9:30 PM
Support: Mount Kimbie (DJ Set) & HWLS
Saturday, 8/13 Show Info

Rally our squad and RSVP on Facebook!

Though the Los Angeles shows are technically sold out, when there’s a musical will – there’s a way – head on over to a third party vendor like Stub Hub, scour CraigsList or make a last minute Facebook plea for help. Flume’s World Tour is a stunning audiovisual masterpiece that will be talked about for years, don’t miss out on your chance to be part of this fantastic, four night affair.

For more on Flume, head over to his socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

[The Audiofiles] Dirtybird Campout Serves Up Salacious Phase 2 Lineup

Standard

How do YOU Dirtybird? This Fall, the Dirtybird Campout makes it’s triumphant return for it’s second annual romp in Silverado, California from October 7th through the 9th. It feels like it was just last week that their epic Phase 1 lineup was released with amazing Dirtybird labelmates, Internationally renowned artists and blossoming Domestic talent.

With Claude VonStroke’s hip hop alterego Barclay Crenshaw on the lineup, we were just waiting for them to announce the head honcho himself. Joining Claude on the decks are the esteemed Green Velvet, Justin Martin, Tourist, Ardalan, Justin Jay + Friends live and Will Clarke. As usual, the Dirtybird Campout isn’t showing all their cards at once – paving the way for at least one more epic lineup reveal before October hits.

Purchase Tickets Here
Though audiophiles and music fans flock to the Dirtybird Campout, festival highlights and standout memories truly encompass all parts of the event. This year, the Dirtybird squad has over 50 games up its sleeves for inspired and energized campers including moonlight capture the flag, karaoke, wood carving and even making root beer floats (or just beer floats if you swing that way). Each camper this year will be assigned a Team Color – and each team victory will put you closer to this year’s Ironbird Championship and of course, bragging rights.

But wait, there’s more! Stay tuned for last minute additions, extra special guests and of course those epic camp activities that the DBC is so known and loved for. I’ll tell you one thing – our team? We’re excited. Stay up to date with the Dirtybird Crew for the latest and greatest on their label and this year’s Campout.

Website | Birdfeed | Merch | Facebook | Twitter

[LA Life] Get Your Culture On With Summer Happenings at The Broad

Standard

thebroadbk1-1-5
As someone who admittedly understands most other forms of art – the written word, music, architecture, plays, musicals, theater, opera, film and dance – over the sculpted, drawn or painted variety, some of their mystique, culture and history had always escaped me.  But, the good news – I’m definitely not beyond reproach and have maintained both an open mind and heart to see what truly moves me.   Growing up in the Bay Area, we visited Science Museums, Botanical Gardens and open spaces from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, and all areas in between – but visiting a museum and looking at art was never in the cards.

Once I moved to Los Angeles and fully grasped how much culture was oozing out of the concrete jungle of our city, I started to get the itch for new and different types of art.  The LACMA, the Getty and the Getty Villa are all so unique in what they offer.  I’m a little biased because I was at the LACMA for the Tim Burton exhibit, but that was ghoulishly fantastic.  I find myself constantly drooling over the Grecian Architecture and landscaping of the Getty Villa, while the Gardens of the Getty are something entirely special to behold.  But the irony, was that I didn’t fall in love with art in Los Angeles.  I fell in love while I was in the South, in the depths of Arkansas on a work trip.  I’d done some remedial research before the flight and discovered the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art – a beautiful museum tucked deep into the town of Bentonville.  Beyond the stunning architectural design, this was the first time I was truly moved by Norman Rockwell’s canvases and Andy Warhol’s paintings.  Once I planted myself back in Los Angeles, I had a new outlook on the artistic endeavors around the city and as well as a new willingness to explore every niche genre of it.

thebroadbk1-1-3

Ever since word got out last year that a new modern and contemporary art museum would be placed smack dab in the center of Downtown Los Angeles, I was intrigued at what they would have to offer Then, when the architectural design for the venue finally went up – I was absolutely enthralled.  So when I finally had the chance to visit The Broad with Danny this past weekend for their Nonobject(ive) Summer Happenings, I was over the moon excited and absolutely jumped at the chance.

The Broad, Los Angeles’ newest museum, opened just last September to fill some contemporary art chasm that vast amounts of local and street art couldn’t. Founded and funded by the esteemed Eli and Edythe Broad, the 120,000 square foot venue was immaculately designed by the combined brainpower of Renfro, Diller Scofidio and Gensler, and boasts over 2,000 prominent paintings and pieces of art distributed between it’s two floors of gallery space.   But when their Summer Happenings swing into bloom, the outdoor courtyard becomes transfixed into an open air concert venue with stunning acoustics against the textured exterior of the building while the insides are engaged in spoken word and performance art while attendees ebb and flow through the first special exhibition at The Broad, Cindy Sherman’s Imitation of LifeThough some of the performances this past weekend were a tad lacking – Sky Ferria’s DJ Set, I’m looking at you – it was a wonderful reason for my first visit.

Though I did enjoy bits and pieces of the museum, there was a large portion that felt like a multimedia smorgasborg and sensory overload. Swimming through troves of hipsters sipping on the latest fads and latest drinks, it was hard to actually get some breathing room regardless of if you were in the middle of the crowd during one of the many performance pieces or simply observing a piece of art.   As expected, the pop art from Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol colored me moved; but more than that, I also discovered new art and artists that I appreciated.

img_3492

I  found the emotive work of Jean-Michel Basquiat to be pulling at my heart strings, and I fell in love with the work of Takashi Murakami – both Of Chinese Lions, Peonies, Skulls, And Fountains as well as the detailed, grand and inspiring In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow (above). Standing 82′ in length, I could’ve spent an entire day analyzing the vibrant colors and intricacies within it. And who doesn’t adore neon, or vibrant, shiny, gigantically fake balloon animals – so, those were cool too, I guess.

The great thing about art, is it’s all subjective – the real question is: are you moved enough to feel – something, anything?  Maybe, just maybe, certain forms of art just aren’t my thing, maybe I need to go back on a day where I can move like molasses between rooms, taking ten, fifteen minutes to digest the art…or maybe I just wasn’t high enough; either, or. Whichever. The good news is that I’ll keep digesting the world around my like I’m at a buffet, and eventually – I’ll have my just desserts.

If you’re interested in getting attending the Nonobject(ive) Summer Happenings, you have two chances left! Tickets for the penultimate event on 8/20 with Rostam and Sparkle Vision are available here.  The final showing lands on September 24th with Sophie and Vessel, tickets go on sale August 15th. Or, if you’d like a more laidback and relaxed visit, visit online and reserve your spot. Admission is free to the general public unless there’s a special event, but that wait list is legendary.

For more about The Broad Museum and their contemporary collection of art, head to their site and socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



thebroadbk1-2-2

img_3501

[The Audiofiles] Put Down Your Phone and Pick Up The Groove at ‘This Never Happened’

Standard

Have you ever been so lost in the music you could forget where you were? So lost, that you felt the entire venue has been transported into an entirely new plane of existence? So enamored by the moment that you leave your cell phone in your pocket as you dance away your worries? Twenty years ago, before smartphones existed, there was a moment in time where this was the norm – where people bonded over a mutual musical admiration and created new bonds, fast friendships and an unforgettable night to remember. Fast forward to 2016 and you’ll find people Snapchating, Tweeting, Instagraming, Shazaming and even playing Pokemon Go on the dancefloor; whatever happened to being there for the love of music, and passion of truly being part of the community instead of just an observer with a camera phone? Thankfully, one producer has finally had enough – and is bold enough to do something about it.

Still marinating in the awe inspiring success of his inaugural ‘This Never Happened’ event in San Francisco, melodic deep house tastemaker Lane 8 is ready to take his novel concept across North America and into a city near you.

““My team and I were super anxious about whether we could pull an event like this off….We focused on getting the message out – letting people know what our vision is and why we think it’s so important. San Francisco is possibly the most tech-hip city in the US, but not only did 99% of people keep their phones in their pockets the entire night, they also had a noticeably better time at the show. That show reinforced even more what we believe in and that what we’re doing is something that the music community actually wants and needs.” – Daniel Goldstein / Lane 8

 

Presale tickets for ‘This Never Happened’ are on sale on Tuesday, August 2nd while General On-Sale tickets are available starting Friday, August 5th. While you’re (im)patiently waiting to get your paws on a coveted ticket in a major metropolitan area from Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles to Toronto and Washington DC, feast your ears on his latest singles – Divina and Crush, both out now!

For more on Lane 8, head to his socials:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Also featured on The DJ List

[LA Life] Frolic Among the Flowers at LA’s Best Botanical Gardens

Standard

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

With the weather we’re blessed with in Southern California, it’s no surprise that we spend the better part of our lives outside.  Beyond the fact my wardrobe is perfectly equipped for it ( my daily uniform consists of a tank top, cut offs and flip flops – thank you, working from home), there’s an impressive amount of outdoor activities to partake in.  You want wine tasting? You don’t have to go to Sonoma or Santa Barbara, just head to Santa Monica or Malibu – skiing and snowboarding are only a few hours away at Big Bear, and the beach is equidistant in the opposite direction.  Fun, sun, snow, sand – we’ve got it all, and then some.  Now that Summer season is in full swing, I’m finding it near uncomfortable to be stuck indoors with so much amazing weather, so when it comes to daily adventures –  it’s time to start thinking outside the box – or at least, outside the home – for some fun day trips and day-tes in the area.

Though Los Angeles can come across as a completely concrete jungle, once you’ve found the right nooks and crannies you’ll realize it’s anything but! From the West in Santa Monica to the East in Pasadena, Los Angeles has been blessed with a gregarious amount of green space throughout the city, and it’s only right that as residents we get to revel in it.  The fabled Griffith Park Observatory offers up acres and acres of fresh green space smack dab in the middle of the city and it feels like you’re on a wild safari when you’re trying to trek towards the Hollywood Sign, while assorted areas like Ernest E Debs Park and NELA’s Lincoln Park provide a pop of vivaciously contrasting greens in the heart of residential neighborhoods and burrows.

Even though I’ve lived in LA for over eight years, I’ve realized that here’s still so much to discover and uncover.  There’s simply so many options to choose from that I have a hard time narrowing it down – after all, they all have their je ne sais quoi moments of sheer bliss, utter beauty and vivacious blooms.  Between the neat little retreats and hidden gems with sincere botanical beauty, I’ve definitely made my way through a pretty solid chunk of what the city of angels has to offer and I’m eager to share my favorite botanical gardens and nature nooks with you.



The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The trifecta of artistic expression, creation and perfection – The Huntington boasts a bevvy of fantastic art collections, a wonderful library rich library and of course – a delectable amount of shrubbery, flowers, trees, flora and fauna.  There natural areas are broken out by region, and you can take a leisurely stroll through a Japanese Tea Garden, a Chinese Garden and even a banzai exhibit, which is even cooler when you realize you’re staring at tiny Sequoias and Redwoods – it’s actually unbelievable.  With over 120 acres to revel in, it’s easy to get lost – and even easier to not see absolutely everything the park has to offer.  Good news – you can get an annual pass and visit whenever you want.  Seeing as the park spans the globe, there are always wonderful specimens in bloom.

Check their website for the latest exhibits as well as their Summer hours, from my knowledge the venue is open from 10:30 to 4:30 every day except Tuesday.

1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA

Website | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

The Descanso Gardens

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/117/39265557/files/2014/12/img_5323.jpg

Though I’ve only visited in the Winter (which in Los Angeles just means it’s below 60), the Descanso Gardens boast a stunning landscape that includes a Lilac Garden, a Japanese Garden, California Natives and a sprawling 5 acre rose garden.  Open year round and only $9 for adults, botanical gardens offer a menagerie of courses and programs, and host a wonderful series of summer concerts.

1418 Descanso Dr, La Canada Flintridge, CA

Facebook | Website | Instagram

Los Angeles County Arboretum

IMG_4854

Located off in Arcadia on the East Side of Los Angeles sits one of my absolute favorite venues, and every time I go I’m absolutely astounded by the fact it exists within Los Angeles county.  Just one stroll around the LA Arboretum, in through the tall bamboo shoots or the indigenous South American trees, and you’ll feel instantly transported into a new land.  Each corner and every inch of the park is impeccably maintained and absolutely stunning to marinate on.  Plus, the third Tuesday of every month is free!

301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA

Website | Facebook | Twitter

img_7850

Storrier Sterns Japanese Garden

Located off the beaten path, in the residental neighborhoods of Pasadena is one of the city’s unique hidden gems.  The Storrier Sterns Japanese Garden is a stunning piece of throwback landscaping and architecture built by the one and only  Kinzuchi Fujii in 1935, not to mention – the last standing one he ever created.  Over 80 years later the two acre span is more beautiful than ever with a teahouse, relaxing areas to sit and meditate in and an active coy pond. The venue is tiny, only about two acres, but there simply so much to see that you could be there all afternoon.

270 Arlington Drive, Pasadena, California 91105

Website | Facebook

Arlington Botanical Gardens

One thing about the wonderful botanical gardens in the area – is you more or less have to pay for them.  Great news about the Arlington Botanical Gardens, is they’re open to anyone, any day, for Free.99. The Arlington Botanical Gardens stand as the only public open space in Pasadena and it offers a great arena to walk and relax among it’s community maintained garden, or the rich array of Californian and Mediterranean trees, bushes, flowers and succulents with a wonderful amount of benches scattered among them – so bring a book, get comfortable and get into your R&R.

275 Arlington Dr, Pasadena, CA 91105

Website 


I’ve by no means gone to all of the local gardens, but I’ve been blessed with the opportunities to visit a great number of them and be awe struck by their beautiful, blooming bounties.  Also, if you couldn’t tell – I effing love reflection shots!

What are your favorite Botanical Gardens and Open Spaces – in Los Angeles, or your favorite city?

Let me know in the comments below!