Back when I worked a 9-to-5 office job, and yoga was just a side passion, I used to fantasize about what life would be like as a full-time yoga teacher. When I quit the corporate world for more spiritual pursuits, I’ll be honest — it was a hustle that left me exhausted and on the verge of burnout. I taught between 20 and 30 classes a week and barely made enough to pay my rent. I drove all over town from classes to clients and let my own personal practice fall by the wayside because I was simply too drained by the end of the day.
If you’re considering a career change, know that you can’t just meditate and manifest your way into success, you actually have to work hard — really hard — but if you stick with it, the payoff is worth it.
7 A.M.: MORNING RITUAL
I wake up at 7 a.m. with my dog Nalu curled up under the blanket to my right and my other dog Faith snoring on her back to my left. They are not early risers, so I set my meditation timer for 20 minutes and let them sleep a little longer while I meditate to calm and center myself for the day. Then it’s out of bed and off for our morning walk.
Once we’re back indoors and the pups have been fed, I move onto my morning oil-pulling ritual. I swish a tablespoon of raw coconut oil in my mouth for about 15 minutes, which is an ayurvedic practice to help freshen breath, reduce plaque, naturally whiten teeth and strengthen gums. (I brush and floss, too!)
Next, I drink a glass of warm water with fresh-squeezed lemon to help boost my digestion for the day.
Pro Tip: Always rinse with purified water immediately after to help protect your tooth enamel from the acidity of the lemon.
Skincare comes next. I’m obsessed with a non-toxic, plant-based, biodegradable and compostable skincare line called Yuni. I wash my face with Yuni Concentrated Cleansing Crème, then hydrate my skin with the line’s moisturizer.
8 A.M.: SKIP THE CAFFEINE & GO GREEN
To fuel me for the day ahead, I skip caffeine (bulletproof coffee — no thank you!) and opt for a big green smoothie bowl instead. I blend almond milk, banana, spinach, mango and at least 20 grams of plant-based protein to help me avoid afternoon energy crashes. I top my bowl with superfoods like bee pollen, coconut flakes, cacao nibs and a drizzle of cinnamon red maca almond butter.
I take a curcumin supplement to help promote overall health and reduce inflammation. I also take an omega-3 supplement and a B-complex supplement for brain health and nervous system support. I used to suffer from debilitating panic attacks and adding omega-3’s and B-12 immensely eases my anxiety.
“I’ve learned to deal with injuries as learning opportunities to grow and train smarter, not harder.”
9 A.M.: TIME TO TEACH
My first class starts at 9 a.m. I teach a strong, 75-minute vinyasa class and absolutely nothing makes me happier than seeing a room full of people starting their day with the post-yoga glow.
After I teach, I usually do a home yoga practice or go and train in Brazilian jiujitsu. Jiujitsu is better than any antidepressant on the market. It boosts my mood naturally, kicks my butt and humbles me every time. Full disclosure: I’ve had to take a brief hiatus while I await surgery for a torn meniscus. I’ve learned to deal with injuries as learning opportunities to grow and train smarter, not harder.
1 P.M.: LUNCH & GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
Lunch is usually a salad or something clean and simple like avocado toast and lentils. I also use the afternoon to answer emails and plan any upcoming workshops, retreats and teacher trainings. Then, it’s off to teach again.
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7 P.M.: DINNER & CHILL
Dinner is vegan bibimbap — a hearty Korean dish consisting of rice, sautéed vegetables, shiitake mushrooms and kimchi — which is full of probiotics and helps promote a healthy gut.
After dinner, I read or write. I usually take a handstand break around 9 p.m. (I’m seriously a handstand junkie — it’s another natural mood booster for me!) and then I’m in bed by 10 p.m. and asleep by 11 p.m.
I’m working on going to bed earlier, but I’ve always been a night owl. If I can’t fall asleep, I’ll do deep breathing exercises to calm my body and mind and help me drift off into slumber. It works every time!