Tonight, Saturday October 20th, is our second annual Halloween Bash. The theme this year is Dance Party USA so wear your fave dance costume from breakdance gear to leotards to tutus to ballroom to Gangnam style. There will be a costume AND a dance contest. Costume contest winner receives 10-class pass plus a practice mat courtesy of Lululemon, price valued at $200. Dance contest winner receives 25-class pass valued at $300. Light snacks and drinks are provided at this FREE EVENT. RSVP yourself and a friend and sign up for the dance contest via the links below.
Oh, and first 25 guests get Yoga Belly Swag Bag! Doors open at 7pm.
I remember it so well. I was at a friend's house party for New Year's Eve of 1982. 15 years old and yet I was hammered dancing my ass off. The DJ goes in the mix and spins a funky dance track I've never heard before. (Note: I have been clubbing since I was 13 so I was no stranger to dance music.) I loved the track so much that I asked the DJ what the song was and he told me it's "Everybody" by Madonna. I wrote that shit down and bought the record the week after. Because I was a mobile DJ myself, I had to buy two copies of "Everybody' coz every DJ knows we need two copies of hit records so we can start the song over and over so dancers can get down on the dance floor. And in a few months, this new artist Madonna would come up with another dance single called "Burning Up" and yes, I would get two copies of this as well.
Since then Madonna released her very first album that launched the hit singles "Holiday," "Borderline," and "Lucky Star." A year later she released "Like a Virgin," went on tour, and my life, and I'm sure Madonna's too, would never be the same. I would buy every record, see every movie, buy every magazine she took cover page, recorded every interview, and saw every concert that I had access to...
But this blog has less to do with being a super fan but more about finding inspiration. Before the "boy toy" image, before Vogue, before discovering yoga, Madonna already had a lot to offer to anyone willing to listen. Her message has always been the same to this day: Treat everyone with love and respect while appreciating your own uniqueness. We are all here to shine and to love one another. This is what I get when I hear her music or watch her perform. This is the same message I put out there when I teach a class or spend time with people. So now when you hear me play Madonna in class, know the intention behind it. I am inspired to connect with as many people as possible and to share the love I feel inside. And I hope everyone I love is putting this out to the universe with me.
Thank you for 30 wonderful years, Madonna!
Benjamin Franklin. You know this guy: signer of the Declaration of Independence, Ambassador to France, Playboy, Scientist, first Post Master of the USPS, Writer, lead Singer of Bennie and the Jets. Okay, maybe not that last one.
He was ridiculous for his accomplishments in various fields. My dad once called him the Thomas Edison of his day. 1) You shouldn't under estimate my dad's bravado on this matter. 2) He looks to be quite more than that.
He had a quote, a simple quote: "Let the experiment be made." You don't know? You don't know unless you try. Try it out. Go figure it out. Challenge your own status quo. Just don't go get electrocuted, okay?
Have something to share in the Monday Manifesto? Let us know.
On day three at 6:30am we had three fitness choices to choose from: Crossfit, running, or yoga. I chose the one non-fitness event: Sleeping in. I slept in like a baby until 7:30am then I made pretty and headed down for a hot breakfast. We had another busy day ahead of us including a breakout session with Lululemon designers, going into workshops, doing group yoga, then attend our closing dinner at the fabulous Brock House Restaurant.
I have been wearing Lululemon clothes for about seven years and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would someday meet the people who designed them. It was pretty surreal to meet the designing team and not just for meet and greet sake, but to actually hang with them in a group and have an open dialogue about their products. Now as Ambassadors we take our roles pretty seriously so if you ask for our opinion, we will gladly give it. In our group circle we shared our likes and dislikes about the product and provided a lot of feedback. I asked for a wider selection for men, asked for men's accessories like headbands, when can we see practice pants that go passed the knees, stuff like that. I can't wait to see what comes out of that session.
In the afternoon we got a chance to practice yoga again then attended small group presentations. I chose to attend the "numbers" workshop (zzzzzzz, still couldn't get into it), working with my strengths (LOVED LOVED LOVED), and embracing social media (I would get tweeting tips from roomie David later). Through these workshops I walked away with key valuable lessons:
1) I am truly not a numbers guy and I should really leave this to the experts.
2) That Twitter is my friend that can help me spread the word about Yoga Belly.
3) Continue to do the things that make me feel and come alive and not worry so much about my strengthening weaknesses. (See point #1.)
I felt, and continue to feel, empowered by these workshops to this day!
To wrap up our summit, Lululemon went even bigger with an elegant dinner at the lovely Brock House Restaurant. It was the perfect setting where we enjoyed picturesque views, lovely sunset with the beautiful backdrop of downtown Vancouver. We all went balls to the wall taking pics of each other here and there, by the water, by the tree, group pics, pics with Lululemon team, pics with the restaurant crew... Girl, I took a pic with everyone! Oh and the drinks kept coming, from wine to champagne, to several Kokanee's, the popular Canadian beer eh. Thank God dinner was served shortly as I was getting my crunk on. Yummy buffet style served up complete with dessert. And the drinks kept coming.
Our awesome emcee Dave gave a heartfelt speech and acknowledged his Lululemon team for all the hard work to make the Ambassador Summit possible. We also gathered around to enjoy a video that they shot throughout the week. It seemed the night just got better and better, more and more emotional, with so much love in the air. And before you know it, the DJ slapped on Rihanna, turned up the volume, and dinner time was officially over.
A handful of us started a dance circle and it grew and grew. We moved a few tables out of the way but the dance party just kept growing. Soon our dance party had moved to the patio where there was more room to shake our booties. Mister DJ kept slapping on the hits from hip hop to house music and the crowd, including myself, went wild. The party was going so strong that our bus waited 30 minutes extra for us to get it out of our system before driving us back to our hotel. Evidently, Lululemon peeps just loves to party rock!
The next day, I awoke at 6:30am and was determined to join MC Sweet as she led us through a vinyasa class. It was a smaller group this time, making our moment together intimate and special. What was so awesome about this session was right after MC led the class, we all stuck around and shared our sequencing and transitions secrets with one another. We yoga nerded, so to speak, and showed each other "flashdance," "shoot the duck," "parsaritta flow," and secrets to coming up to baby bakasana and modified handstand. I plan to continue this style of group work with my fellow teachers at my studio.
Well folks, there you have it: My three memorable days with my peeps at Lululemon. I met so many, learned so much, walked away with plenty to chew on for the rest of my life. It may have been three weeks ago that I was in Vancouver relishing in the good times, but I am still feeling the high today. I am grateful for the opportunity and hope I can provide the same inspiration and light to others from here on out. And Lululemon you are right: You are more than a stretch pants company, you guys are love. Thank you again for letting me be a part of your world.
Hey YB’ers…..Just a little PSA to let you know its Madonna-week here at my house. We have waited 8 months for this week to arrive and by “we” of course I mean William. I bought him tickets around Valentines for this VIP package that VIP Nation puts together with a private party for all the other Madonna (let’s call them for the sake of being nice) super fans. I unfortunately as the purchaser of this private event package must be in attendance to pick up our special tickets which guarantee us to be in the first 10 rows at the concert. I do this as a labor of love for my dear little husband who has very few needs in this life monetarily speaking. The reason that we have 90% of the things that we have in our home is because of my obsession with ordering from Amazon (It just feels like Christmas in July when you get a present delivered to your house of the blue). William however is a bit more frugal than I and doesn’t really “splurge” on much so I know when it’s time to see Madonna in concert I know that part of being a good spouse means going above and beyond what I want to do (which is stay home and watch MMA on pay-per-view and drink beers with my peoples) and make dreams come true. As we begin our approach into what I am assuming after having been forced to go to 3 previous concerts will be the gay-est show on earth. I want to share with you why (even though I haven’t attended any of the classes in person) you are forced to listen to Madonna in class as I am forced to listen at home in between talking about, going to the store to buy magazines where she is on the cover, lay in bed and listen to what amazing things that Madonna is doing now on Madonnalicious.com (yes, unfortunately that is a real thing for all you true fans that need to know up to the minute what Madonna is doing). So, happy Madonna week ya’ll….enjoy!
Not only can we rock the yoga, but we know how to rock the microphone too!! This new youtube smash says it all... See you this Saturday the 29th for our 2nd Yoga Belly Karaoke Party at 7pm. We supply the hits & snacks, you supply your drinks & friends.
Check this out:
On day two at the Lululemon Ambassador Summit, I woke up to the alarm my rommie David set for 6am. We freshened, slapped on our fabulous Lululemon gear and trekked down to the 2nd floor for our 6:30am yoga class. It was like being at the academy awards with ambassadors rocking their yoga attire with Lululemon mats and sports bottles in tow. It was a beautiful sight to see: Everyone already had that yoga glow without doing a single surya namaskar (sun salutation). I was sandwiched between roomie David and Holly Miller of Moksha Yoga through a sweet vinyasa class. Towards the end I partnered with David, placing my hand over his heart, his over mine, and our eyes gazed at each other's giving fierce smiyes (smiling eyes) to one another. And in sivasana, I am hanging onto Holly's hand. So much tenderness so early in the morning.
Right after a hot breakfast with fresh scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and fresh fruit, we all gathered in a fancy conference room to meet and to experience the magic of Susanne Conrad and Parker Pearson. For this morning's segment, Susanne passed around the mic and wanted to hear from us. "What do you want to get out of this week? What would you like to take with you from this experience?" Without hesitating, there I was with the mic: Hi Susanne, my name is Will Cristobal from Yoga Belly in Mountain View, CA. My hubby and I are planning our second studio that includes a boutique where we sell Lululemon products. So basically what I'd like to find out this week is who at Luluemon I have to sleep with to make this happen." Immediately the crowd LOL'd and I continued, "No seriously. Who would it be?" Oh, the look on Susanne's face: Priceless. She pulled me to the front of the room for a bit of coaching: In this plan, would the studio still open regardless what was in the boutique? And I said, "Yes, of course we would still open, it would just be nice to have Lululemon included in the plan." And so lucky me, I did get a contact person at Lululemon who I can contact when I returned back home. Word.
After a quick break, we all separated into groups to work on our individual "declarations." There were two Lululemon coaches in our group who guided us through the process of creating declarations. A declaration in Susanne's words: Provides a way to tie in who you are today that fulfills your future goals. We had an amazing group chat and most participants shared. We had a lot of laughs, some tears were shed, we spawned a lot of declarations. After examining my own goals and visions, I have come up with my own declaration and it goes like this: I embody success because I am open to possibilities, I love love, and I am fucking funny.
We were on our own for the afternoon to enjoy Vancouver however we wanted. Some of us went for a spa treatment, while others road bikes around town, and some went shopping. I chose to get a massage and facial at the Absolute Spa with fellow ambassadors. I arrived a few minutes early to my appointment so I swam a few laps (okay at least eight laps) in their indoor pool, got my detox on in the steam room, got body work done for an hour and a half. Just when I thought the pampering was over, they served me a fresh salad, chocolate-covered strawberries, a glass of champagne! As I enjoyed the moment I had a chance to have a lovely conversation with fellow ambassador Kenna Kaklin from Edmonton, Alberta eh. Kenna, you are such a cutie!!
Dinner took place inside the Four Seasons, buffet style with lots of options to choose from for the vegans, the vegetarians, the pescatarians, and the rest of us. The spread and company were ah-maz-ing! What made dinner soooo memorable was getting to meet and to hear from one of Lululemon's finest Allison Forsyth. Allison shared a moving story of her journey to winning an Olympic medal, dealing with a loss in her family, and realizing her dreams and goals. I was sooooo moved by her story that I approached her as she left the podium and asked for a hug. I told her I was inspired and I would love to bring that inspiration home with me. Allison was also gracious enough to accept my friend request on Facebook. I promise I won't stalk you Allison. Not a lot anyway.
I ended the evening with enjoying a nightcap with David at the bar one floor down in the fabulous Yew Restaurant. We chatted about our experience of the last two days and both agreed to having the best times of our lives. What a day...
Sure, it's not Monday yet - but this deals with how you might start your Monday morning. On mornings when I find it difficult to get out of bed because I'm tired or exhausted, there's a quote that I sometimes say that helps me get up. Under the context of getting out of bed, it's pretty ridiculous and laughable. I love it.
Here it is:
"There's one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind."
With the first sentence I put the first foot on the floor. The second sentence the second foot goes down and I stand up. One step at a time folks. One step at a time. Happy Monday. Happy week.
Last week I was one of the lucky 70 Lululemon Ambassadors asked to join the Lululemon Ambassador Summit in the lovely city of Vancouver, Canada. When asked a few weeks ago to represent the Palo Alto store, I had no idea what was in store but I bet it would be an amazing adventure. From the moment I arrived at Vancouver airport, I was greeted by four lovely ladies from Lululemon who held a big ass red sign: YOU'RE KIND OF A BIG DEAL. We hugged, we kissed, they escorted me to a cab where I would then meet fellow ambassador Brenda Blanco from New Jersey (Joyzee?). (I actually befriended Brenda and other ambassadors on FB a few weeks ago so lucky me for sharing a cab with my new besty!)
We were whisked away through the lovely streets on Vancouver to see where all the Lulu magic happens. I bet I can speak for Brenda that we felt we were about to enter Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, except all the helpers would be hot and healthier.
We were greeted by the Summit Team and offered a lunch then given a tour. We were assigned a bus that we soon boarded for our first group event: The Grouse Grind.
Holy Mary Mother of God... Climbing the grind, hands down, has got to be one of the toughest things I have ever done!! That shit was no joke. I am not one to hike nor climb a stair master for an hour, but those skills would've come in handy last Monday. I huffed and I puffed and I struggled for most of the way up that mountain. But girl, after an hour of steep climbing I finally made it to the top!! Sure, it took me a while to catch my breath and to feel my legs again. But like everyone kept saying, "The view is soooo worth it when you make it to the top," and it was a-maz-ing. Now where can I get some water? Thank God the only way back down is via tram ride... Amen to that.
On the bus ride to the lovely Four Seasons hotel, also courtesy of Lululemon, all the ambassadors started warming up towards each other. We all got our room keys and found out who we get to do The Real World Vancouver with for the next three days. I was lucky enough to room with David Good, another BFF I made on FB just a week ago. David and I hit it off right away. We were like Laverne & Shirley or Thelma & Louise; I even called us Will & Jack (David has a cute resemblance to Jack from Will & Grace).
The evening was graced with a fancy delectable spread along with a full bar at the pool area where we got to mingle with all the awesome ambassadors and Lululemon team. It was only day one yet there was already soooo much love in the air. Everyone was just so happy to be there, to be present, to be alive. Dave Goto from Lululemon took to the stage to welcome everyone and became our emcee for the week. He was sooo charming and uber-friendly just like the rest of his peeps. What a day, what an adventure, what a night...
And that's only day one.
PS: After all the moaning and groaning and pain and suffering I endured at The Grouse Grind, I am happy to declare that I would do it all over again. I'll just need a better Lululemon outfit.