Yoga For Everyone | Part II | Hip Openers

// This post was co-written with Katherine Harris for Darling Magazine. This is the second part in a 3-part series. Subscribe for upcoming yoga goodies! //


Eyebrows furled, I lay on the massage table as the masseuse was pressing in between my eyes with his thumbs. Relax. Just relax. Over and over again I was commanding myself to relax without any progress. Then, a quiet voice whispered in my head, “let go, and you will go deeper still.”

Until that moment I didn’t realize that my body, not just my brows, was tense and clenched as I was demanding my body to do  relaxation. The invitation I found was to let go, and simply be. With my next exhale I physically and metaphorically let go.

How we show up for one thing is how we show up for everything. We’re constantly putting demands on our bodies to “chill out,” “just relax” or “get over it.”  But, I wonder if there’s something we can learn in untraining ourselves from constantly doing and instead create space for letting go and simply being.

From the day we’re born we’re learning to balance this fight or flight response both physically and emotionally. Crossing the street, we halt when we hear a car peeling around the corner. Our body physically braces itself when we trip and fall to the ground. Emotionally, it happens too. That discernment or gut feeling we have when we walk into a room and our heightened senses tell us ‘”something isn’t right here,” “this isn’t safe, let’s go.”

In yoga, it’s taught that the physical manifestations of our fight or flight response — these emotions of trauma, stress, anxiety, and fear — are held in the hip area of our bodies, specifically in the psoas muscle. If your life seems riddled by fear, anxiety, endless to-do lists and stress, then chances are your hips are very tight.


Not to mention, we are a chair-bound culture. Most of us are sitting in chairs at a computer for most of the day which further tightens and shortens the hip flexors and surrounding muscles.

Today we’re going to work on opening our hips to create a deeper release in our psoas muscles and encourage what we’ve been creating the past few weeks: stress relief.  This area of our body holds so much tension and protects our bodies, but as many of us with tight hips know, when our hips are tight it impacts the rest of our body, as well. We’re programmed to do, do, DO.  But the biggest challenge of hip openers is letting go. It’s much less about doing and so much more about being and surrendering.


Let’s begin.

First start with our 15 minute stress relief warm-up.  After you’ve completed both Sun A’s and Sun B’s meet us in Downward Facing Dog.

  • From Downward Facing Dog, inhale and lift one leg and as you exhale, bend knee and open your hip. Stay for one 2 cycles of breaths.

  • As you exhale, place foot in between hands and spin back heel down, creating a 45 degree angle with the back foot. 

  • Find Warrior II, with hips open and front knee bent to 90 degrees if possible. If your hips are tight, find a wider stance with your legs. Stay for 5 breaths.

  • As you exhale, place hands on either side of your front foot and move through Chaturanga Dandasana - Upward Facing Dog as you inhale and Downward Facing Dog as you exhale. 

Repeat on other leg.


From Downward Facing Dog, place right foot outside right hand for Lizard Pose. Stay for 5 breaths. Option to lower back knee to the mat if you feel any discomfort. Keep your core engaged to prevent pelvis from sagging which can lead to low back injuries.

If possible, lower to your forearms and try both options with back leg, keeping the leg down on the mat with toes uncurled or tucking your toes, engaging the leg and lifting it off the mat. See what works best for your body. Stay for 5 breaths.

Walk your right foot toward your left hand and let the knee drop to the mat, preparing for Pigeon Pose. It's imperative to practice Pigeon Pose in excellent alignment, as poor alignment can lead to  many injuries. 

  • Pelvis should be in neutral position, with both hip points facing forward. If you're feeling tight or uncomfortable, prop yourself up with a cushion or blanket(s) under your right hip so your hips find a neutral point.  

  • Start with right foot close to your body (not pictured), with your heel touching your left hip. With practice and time, begin moving your foot forward to form a 90 degree angle with your shin (parallel to the short side of the mat). This angle greatly intensifies the lengthening of the piriformis muscle (outer hip), so move gently and give yourself time. 

  • Flex your right foot and press the outer edge of it into the ground, activating your outer hip. Try pressing your big toes into your palm so you can feel where the activation should be coming from.

  • Back leg is straight behind you with toes uncurled and relaxed. The top of your thigh, shin and foot are grounded on the floor. 

Once alignment is secured, slowly walk your hands forward until you’re completely folded over your right leg. Stay for 10-20 breaths.

To come out of Pigeon Pose, walk your hands toward your front shin, curl your back toes under, press into your hands and transition into Downward Facing Dog. Pedal out your feet as needed.

Repeat cycle of Lizard Pose to Pigeon Pose on left side. 


Options / Variation for Pigeon Pose:

Pigeon Pose Variation: With right leg in front, bend left knee behind and reach for it with your left hand, encouraging your hips to stay as square as possible.

Mermaid Pose: If possible, let your left foot rest in the nook of your elbow crease. Extend your right arm overhead, maintain an energetic lift from your pelvic floor (Kegel muscles) and reach for your left hand. Stay for 5-10 breaths.

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose: In Pigeon Pose, continue sending your tailbone down and crown of the head up. Encourage your torso to lengthen by securing your hands on either side of your hips. Lift your right arm up, engage your core, bend your elbow and reach back for your flexed, right foot. Lengthen the crown of your head up and allow your neck to mindfully bend back to gaze behind you. Stay here or move forward by finding balance and stability without the support of the left hand on the ground. Send the left arm up and back so both elbows are pointing upwards and both hands are holding your right foot. Continue lifting from your pelvic floor to prevent collapsing into your low back (lumbar spine). Breathe and slowly release one hand at a time before bringing your neck to a neutral position.

Follow the same steps listed above when transitioning between sides. 

What’d you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any questions whatsoever, leave a comment and I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can!

With love,


/ / C R E D I T S / /

Photos by Sara Kerens

Yoga Bestie, Katherine Harris of The Refined Woman

T-shirts by Spiritual Gangster

Super High | The Feeling


Bliss. That's what it feels like to me. 

Regardless of what you think I'm talking about, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Searching for, discovering it and getting high off it creates a deep indentation in your being that remembers, "Man, that feels good. I want to feel that again."

Moving my body, whether through yoga or a killer workout, is what brings me most bliss. 

Finding our passion, our high is one of the most sacred journeys we can take in this life. Whether it's yoga, surfing, painting, writing, singing, reading, math, astronomy or connecting with people, it's YOUR personal calling, regardless of whether you decide to pursue it professionally or not. Being aware of what makes your heart flutter and what makes your face smile is the first step in deciding to do it more - because it will bring you bliss, time and time again.

This immediately reminds me of a yoga festival I attended a few years ago. Wanderlust had built a huge wood deck at the very top of Stratton Mountain where several classes were held every single day of the festival. I got there a little early before class and was in awe with the view and the feeling of being that high up on the mountain. It was an outward representation of what I felt inside.

Practicing yoga and working out, breathing with awareness and intention gives me a feeling that I can only describe as euphoric - or high. And it's that exact feeling that I try to bottle up and carry with me wherever I go, in order to live a continuously joyful life. 

I invite you to look inside. Look deeply and don't be fearful of what comes up - our bliss has oftentimes been buried so deep that when we finally uncover it, we are faced with feelings of doubt and skepticism. That's when you take a step forward, and consciously decide to get high off your own bliss. Dig deep, it's there. 

With much love,




Event: Wanderlust Festival - Stratton, Vermont

The Human Charging Station


It seems we’ve reached an almost-robotic era where events, airports and even our homes are equipped with “charging stations” to conveniently offer guests a complimentary recharge.

Have we really gotten there? To the point that a few hours of disconnect from the outside world seems unfathomable? Am I alone in battling the struggle for connecting to others through technology while still trying to resist its overuse?

The teeter-totter balancing act between the two is exhausting. Physically, I can immediately tell when it’s been too much. Days and weeks when I’ve been tech-heavy, writing articles, editing photos, posting to Instagram/ Pinterest/ Twitter, etc. I feel a clear line of stress from the muscles under my knuckles, through my forearms and up to the area where the nape of my neck meets my skull. Any gentle touch to any spot along that line would trigger a semi-painful response. Mentally, when I notice myself avoiding social interaction (read: “Netflix Movie Marathon”), I know it’s time to check myself into my very own “human charging station.”

I’m referring to my personal paradise where I don’t feel pressure to perform on any level nor do I judge myself for indulging in personal time. I have several charging stations that do the trick.

1. Yoga – whether you believe in lines of energy or not, there’s something to be said about the power that comes from grounding yourself through strengthening postures and feeling the earth under the palms of your hands. Not to mention the calming effect that spreads over me after doing yoga. In Spanish, we have a saying that literally says, “In the absence of bread, cracker,” and it basically states if you can’t have what you originally wanted (bread/ to live in a spa), then do what’s available (cracker/ yoga). Such a weird saying, but kinda cute, right? Ps. Puerto Ricans love carbs. If it’s not bread, then it better be a cracker, dammit!

2. Quality Time – Sometimes I just yearn for a nice cuddle sesh with friends or family. Throw a massage in there and I’m in heaven. Another QT favorite is going to sporting events. As boring as baseball may be to some, I love going to games! Brunch and dinner rendezvous are nice too ☺ I feel like I’m writing a dating profile. Enough about QT.

3. Nature – the scenery, the smells, the air and the general feeling of being in the right place. I try to find pockets of bliss (parks, beaches, trails, etc.) to get me away from technology and into a broader landscape.

Where are your personal charging stations? How often do you get yourself there?

Here’s my challenge to you:

Find your charging station.

Get to it before the end of next week and report back.

Happy Monday!

With love,



How Young Is Too Young To Be Sexy


I had Lightroom open to a full gallery of images taken in Puerto Rico of the most beautiful girl in the world, my cousin Camila. I started doing what I usually do: select several pictures at a time and flag the best one. Flag, flag, flag, flag. They’re all so great; Camila is such a beauty! 

There are some where her face takes up the entire screen and I can see the innocence in her eyes. Then there are other images where there’s a bit more of a serious tone, almost to the point of them being sexy. I think she looks absolutely stunning in them, but then I remember she’s only 16 years old. Taking a moment to think of my fleeting thought made me want to write this post, because I feel like there’s such a gray area nowadays on not only what is sexy but also what’s the age of sexy?

I think we should rephrase the question and instead of asking ourselves how young is too young to be sexy we should ask ourselves what do we want that “sexy” to be.

Sexiness has little to do with clothing and a lot to do with being. As Mila's [favorite] older cousin who runs a boudoir photography business, I’m constantly asking myself if the content I produce would be something I’d be ok sharing with her, because if it isn’t, then I know it’s not the right type of work that boosts my vision for women.

To me, sexy should be related to these words,

  • Confidence

  • Strength

  • Uniqueness

  • Femininity

  • Power

Rather than these ones,

  • Sex

  • Promiscuity

  • Desperation

  • Revealing

  • Easy

I want Mila and her friends to know that being sexy is a way of being and not a way of dressing. I want her to know that it’s OK to embrace your femininity, as long as it’s with respect and dignity to yourself. I’m the first one to wear the smallest bikinis or post pictures of myself in lingerie, but I do it all with because they’re 100 percent ME – they’re never for attention or approval.

On my last trip to Puerto Rico, we had about 10 minutes to shoot this series. They mean so much to me because I see her at the cusp of becoming a young lady, still with an almost-tangible purity that’s held in her copper eyes.

Through these pictures, this post and all my future work, I hope to always be an example for her of what being a sexy woman really is about.

Tag or share with someone who inspires you to be sexy.

With love,


Yoga For Everyone | Part I | Darling Magazine

// This post was co-written with Katherine Harris for Darling Magazine. This is the first part in a 3-part series. Subscribe for upcoming yoga goodies! //

It's truly a blessing that I often get to combine my biggest passions - yoga and photography - and call it work. Yoga is a way to turn the lens around and take a look at what's going on inside, and no matter who you are or where you are in your practice, yoga is available.  

So when Darling Magazine wanted to offer its readers an accessible and short yoga flow that helped de-stress in a chaotic city like New York, we knew we were the gals for the job. When I say we, I'm referring to my best friend Katherine, from The Refined Woman. We're coming up on 4 years of knowing each other, but time has nothing to do with our love story. Kat and I come from very different backgrounds, but have somehow become women on a similar path - a path of self-awareness and constant dream chasing! 

When we’re in the same city, you'll often find us at any given park, with music & yoga pants on and breath moving up and down in unison. Regardless of the day's event, we come together and wipe our slates clean by one simple move: breathing.

I invite you to try this basic 15-minute yoga flow, prepared by Kat and myself, and experience what your body goes through. It's a perfect way to either start or end your day! 

I hope you give it a try and let us know what you think.

Namaste, loves.

With love always,



Y O G A  F O R  E V E R Y O N E  B Y  T U T T I  +  K A T 

First, find child’s pose. Sit back on your heels, rest forehead on the ground. Relax your entire body, and start connecting with your breath.

Next, find a neutral spine on all fours. Begin moving with your breath. Inhale into cow pose, exhale to cat poseRepeat five times. (This simple movement warms up your spine, wrists and hips.)

From here, curl your toes under and press into downward facing dog. Make sure you press into your index finger and thumb to avoid dumping weight onto the outside of your wrist.

Cycle through five breaths in downward facing dog. Slowly walk to your hands. Bend knees as much as you need. Arrive into rag doll position. Hold onto opposite elbows, and if it feels good sway side to side.

Now, onto through Sun Salutations A + B.



From rag doll, slowly roll all the way up, stacking one vertebrae over the next until you arrive and EXHALE in mountain pose.
INHALE, lift arms up, and gaze to your hands.
EXHALE, fold forward, release your neck.
INHALE, lift your torso halfway, gaze forward and widen your collarbone.
EXHALE, plant hands, step / hop back to chaturanga dandasana (if you can do a push up, you can do this!)
Bend elbows to 90 degrees and shift forward to upward facing dog as you INHALE.
EXHALE, downward facing dog.
Stay for five breaths.
Look forward, walk or jump to the top of your mat, INHALE, halfway lift.
EXHALE, fold forward.
INHALE, come to stand, raise your arms and look up.
EXHALE, mountain pose, arms by your side.



Make your way from downward facing dog to forward fold.

INHALE, chair pose, sit hips back and raise arms alongside your ears.
EXHALE, drop hands to the mat and straighten legs.
INHALE, halfway lift.
EXHALE, plant hands and step/jump back chaturanga dandasana.
INHALE, upward facing dog.
EXHALE, tuck toes, downward facing dog.
INHALE, raise right leg. Keep toes pointed toward the mat.
EXHALE, plant right foot in between hands, spin back heel down to 45 degrees (toes facing the top left corner of your mat).
INHALE, come to stand with arms alongside ears for warrior I (you’re doing it!).
EXHALE, plant hands to frame foot. Step back to plank, then lower halfway.
INHALE, upward facing dog
EXHALE, downward facing dog.

Repeat on left side.

Once you’ve completed the left side, breathe in downward facing dog.
Look forward, walk or jump to the top of your mat, INHALE, halfway lift.
EXHALE, fold forward.
INHALE, chair pose.
EXHALE, mountain pose.

Repeat complete cycle three times.

*Options for Sun Salutation B:

First Cycle: Add a lunge twist after warrior I, left hand down, pick up back heel, and twist toward raised right arm.

Second Cycle: Humble warrior I after warrior I, interlace hands behind back, bring torso inside bent leg and stretch shoulders. THEN release left hand down for lunge twist.

Third Cycle: Repeat above steps and add a side plank after lunge twist.

Finally, rest in child’s pose for five breaths.


Come to all fours and neutral spine, INHALE, right arm up.

EXHALE, thread it under left arm. Rest on right shoulder. Stay for five breaths.
INHALE, press up to untwist and gaze up.
EXHALE, neutral spine.

Repeat on left side.

We’ll end with breath practice. Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and breathe.

INHALE for counts of four.
EXHALE for counts of seven.

Stay for three to five minutes, then slowly open your eyes, and smile.

Namaste, loves!


// C R E D I T S //

Photos Via: Sara Kerens

Yoga Bestie: Katherine Harris from The Refined Woman

Yoga T-Shirts: Spiritual Gangster

Yoga Mat: Jade Yoga

Time For Self-Care



I'll be honest with you: I don't have the answers. I only have experiences, reflections and lessons. Isn't that the way life works though? If we take a moment to step out of our own lives and allow ourselves to see the bigger picture, doesn't it all boil down to experiences and lessons?  

The main question I ask myself is, “How can I love myself well?” Self-care has become a coined term relating to practices that range from quietude to luxurious treatments, and although they’re all fair definitions for it, I want to include perhaps a new way for you to approach it.

It involves stepping outside our minds and entering our hearts. One of the most recent revelations I've had is that I want to be able to be as aware of my feelings and needs during times of joy as I am during times of stress. Self-care facilitates this transparency. It's the link between our hearts and our perspectives on life. That's where I think the gift of the precious present lies. The pot of gold. The edge of the rainbow.  

The ultimate lessons in self-care that I can pass on to you are this:


Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. - Dr. Seuss

A life of leisure in my everyday life is what I strive for. These are some of my favorite spontaneous practices: middle-of-the-day DIY face scrubs and masks, extra essential oil drops on my skin to feel like a goddess, long walks through the plant store while listening to my favorite music, gym time, reading all kinds of books that enlighten and inspire me, signing up for that class I've been wanting to take, etc. Thinking of "normal" activities as luxurious ones or even switching the time of day I enjoy them adds an element of fun and playfulness to my self-care routines. In addition, taking a leisurely approach to my day immediately adds the illusion of time to my life, which makes me more prone to notice, acknowledge and perhaps even smile to the person next to me. This is one of the truest benefits from practicing self-care: when we care for our internal selves we're better able to externalize feelings of peace, compassion and love to the world around us.


Silence is the quickest avenue to our soul. In quietude, we face ourselves, our feelings, our lacks, our desires, our questions and our dreams. I find that each day is different when it comes to sitting quietly. Sometimes I'm in the zone for twenty minutes straight and other times it's a huge struggle to stay still for two minutes. It's always telling of what's underneath the surface of course. I've experienced enough of the bliss that happens when I push through the chatter and arrive to my inner peaceful place to know that it's worth pushing through. Bliss, my loves. BLISS. If you're willing, I encourage you to check out these apps. I use them either at home in the mornings, in bed at night, or sometimes while I’m nursing and Levi drifts to sleep. Make this experience your own and don't overthink it. In yoga, it's said that a still body will facilitate a still mind, but just remember that the goal isn't to quiet the mind completely, it's to slow it down enough for you to see what's there, without judgement. These are my favorite meditation apps:

  • Calm

  • Headspace

  • Mindfulness

  • Stop, Breathe & Think

They each have free + premium options. I usually just choose a free one and it does the trick! 

I hope you enjoy this approach to self-care. I'd love to hear about your journey as you incorporate some of these or maybe even come up with ones that your heart is yearning for! I find that taking a step back from our busy lives, listening to our hearts and honoring what it needs always brings a sacred perspective to our days and lives. 

Sending you all love,


To Empower: To Give (Someone) The Authority Or Power To Do Something.

Photo featuring  Malabella Jewels

Photo featuring Malabella Jewels

Of all the buzz words I've been aware of, empower is my favorite. I can literally spend hours on Instagram, Facebook, blogs, etc. discovering and interacting with other women whose mission is to empower one another. 

A couple years ago, I attended Jessie Artigue's, creator of Style & Pepper, popular Pepper Brunch. The theme was all about building your dream career and guest speaker Cyndie Spiegel was there to disclose all the dirty secrets on how to do so. The moment she said her business goal was to "empower women, business owners and humans," I was all ears. "That's also my dream!" I thought. Then, something really strange happened. I reworded a question I often ask myself, "What do I want to do to empower women?" and instead asked, "What am I doing to empower women?" and was left a bit disillusioned, knowing I can do more. 

So, being the beginning of a new year and all, I think it's a perfect time to start doing instead of wanting to do. To that end, I’m writing this post and already have weeks of content to serve YOU: to bring you useful, fun, helpful, authentic and [hopefully] inspiring content. You can expect goodies about motherhood, womanhood, fitness, wellness, loving yourself, feeling sexy, creating community and simply cultivating kindness in your heart.

As this topic is dear to my heart, I yearn for your comments and feedback! Make sure to subscribe to stay in the loop. I’m so excited to build this loving community.

Love you all,


// C R E D I T S //

Style & Pepper,
Cyndie Spiegel,
Malabella Jewels (photo),

2019 | My Wish For You

There are many gifts I wish to give you - my community. I want you to feel loved. To feel safe. To feel valued and seen. I want you to know you are unique because you are you, and that there's absolutely nothing you have to change about yourself in order to be better or more fill-in-the-blank. Where you come from, what you do, who you choose to be, they all make up the beautiful person you've become and what others experience when they're around you. You are magic.

You are the entire ocean in one drop. 

My wish for you is of endless words of self-love that you tell yourself. That you may look at yourself in the mirror and speak kindly to yourself. Maybe even smile. I want you to feel both the lightness and heaviness within you,  which we all have,  and choose to move through both with love.

I'll leave you with an affirmation that I find truly beautiful and inspiring. May all your 2019 wishes come true and may you find joy in every moment. 

I surrender to the ocean, to the moon, to the stars, to the sun, to the earth. Bestowed by beauty all around me; I am humble. I respect life and promise to honor its gift. I will nourish my body and too my soul with the nutrients of love. I am present. - Miann Scanlan

With love always,