Category Archives: Balance

How to Avoid Social Media Blues

Yacht parties and bikini bodies got you down? Here’s how to get out of the funk.

I photoshopped a picture of myself once. Okay, maybe more than once.

I’m not talking about adding filters or erasing stains from my shirt. I’m talking vacuuming away parts of my stomach, arms, and even a little thigh. When I gave my husband a virtual tummy tuck, he finally forced me to check myself.

“You can’t talk about self-love and authenticity and then use photoshop!” He was horrified. And then I was, too.

I whole-heartedly believe we’re each put on this earth in our own unique bodies to express our true Selves. And through platforms such as teaching yoga, writing, and using social media, part of my job is to help people realize this. I teach the self-acceptance and body positivity—but I wasn’t always practicing it.

What the bleep was I doing erasing a few pounds with the swipe of my finger?

For the honest answer, we must take a little trip back in time.

I have been dieting since I was 9 years old. Even now, while I may no longer count calories or weigh my broccoli, I still watch every morsel I put in my mouth. I was a child of the early nineties—the era of the supermodel. Pictures of Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford lined the walls of my room. My mum modeled, too (along with her many other careers), and I coveted her air-brushed headshots, just as I did every single page of Vogue.

I wish I looked like that.

Wow, she’s so beautiful.

Why am I so ugly?

These were the lyrics that played on repeat in my head. Not exactly the anthems we want for our children.

The pressure of perfection is a force so strong it …

How to Find Self-Love and Acceptance Through Grief and Fear

In her new book, On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard, yoga teacher Jennifer Pastiloff examines how facing loss, grief, and vulnerability allowed her to find endless love, self-acceptance, and wild happiness.

Four years into dating, Robert and I were walking to the movies to see Inglourious Basterds when he nudged me to the other side of the sidewalk. He always insists (still) on walking on the side closer to the street. I wasn’t expecting it, so when he pushed me, I almost lost my footing.

“So, um, would you ever want to be Mrs. Taleghany?” he asked, and he shoved me, which I equated to pulling the hair of a girl you like on the playground.

“Are you asking me to marry you?” I said.

“Well, would you want to?”

“Wait. Is this how you are asking me to marry you?”

It sure was. The next morning, I woke up to a velvet jewelry box on my pillow from a local jeweler. Inside was a small diamond engagement ring. I opened my eyes and rolled over onto the jewelry box. He said, “I waited for you for 10 years.” He had.

See also 5 Pillars of Finding a True Love Connection

I wanted to keep my last name. I felt like it was my only connection left with my father, who died at age 38, when I was eight years old. I am always going to be Jen Pastiloff, Melvin’s daughter. Daughter of Mel The Jew—his nickname when he hung out on 5th and Wharton in South Philly as a teen.

I am an Avoider, not a Facer. And that is what I call a Classic Bullshit Story. The patterns of holding my grief inside my body have created neural pathways that cause …

6 Yogi Dads Inspiring Us This Fathers Day

Here are six yogi dads who inspire us to continue to cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships with the children in our lives through their sacred fatherhood. Thank you, dads!

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1. JahSun

“If you’re seeing this, it means you have a father. I had one too. He’s was a brilliant chemist of a top firm in NJ. Seen him twice my entire life. I’m thankful he made me. Truly! As much I longed to see him more as a kid, The Universe knew what I needed and having him more fully in my life could’ve been more damaging. Who knows? Doesn’t matter. What I do know it that’s it’s perfect – as is – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t be me otherwise. So, today, I’m not simply offering up some generic “Happy Father’s Day” to all fathers. Because being a “Father” takes very little skill, 3 minutes behind a school bleacher at age 15-16 (some start younger than that) – if we’re keeping it real like adults. I’m raising the bar. Elevating the standard. I’m unwilling to continue to celebrate the bare minimum. Honoring men with zero, or little connection to their children and send money like they’re paying a car note. In and out, when it suits them, like a revolving door at a hotel. Instead, I’m standing up to SALUTE ALL DADS! Men who are there, present and CONSISTENT for their children (and being with Mom is not a requirement to be available for your baby). MEN who have taken up the mantle to raise another man’s child (that they left behind), and became Dad for them. I stand up and SALUTE ALL MOMS doing double duty as BOTH parents. I was a single dad …

The Western Yogi's Guide to Traveling Through India

From the must-see places and pilgrimages to top tips on how to stay healthy on the road, here’s what you need to know before you plan your trip.

Yoga Journal gives Western yogis an in-depth look into planning a trip to the birth place of yoga consciously and mindfully. 

I started practicing yoga in a crowded New York City gym, my mat so close to the student’s next to mine that I couldn’t tell whose sweat droplets were whose. Like many Americans, I was introduced to yoga as a physical activity—I considered it a complement to the triathlon training I was doing at the time—and thought of it as only that for the first five or so years I practiced.

See also What is Yoga? Understand The History Behind the Practice

Then, I started practicing with a yoga teacher who dropped lessons about yoga’s lineage into her classes. That led me to another instructor, who taught me even more about this ancient practice, the origins of which date to pre-Vedic times (1500–500 BCE) and are widely believed to have morphed into the Hatha Yoga that spread during British colonial rule of India and that Westerners practice today. The more I learned, the more I realized that eventually, I’d want to make a pilgrimage to yoga’s birthplace so I could understand more fully the practice I’d come to love.

See also What’s the Difference Between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation?

I had that chance three years ago. What I learned is that, similar to my journey on my yoga mat, a meaningful trip to India can’t just be about taking. Rather, it should be about studying up on the places you’ll  visit and cultures you’ll experience, connecting meaningfully with the people you meet when you’re there, giving back through seva (selfless …

The Top Five Mindfulness Destinations Around the World

We asked Crystal McCreary—a yoga and mindfulness educator who hosts self-care retreats across the globe—to nameher five favorite destinations for experiencing mindfulness. Here’s what she had to say.

1. Kenya 

The dramatically poetic circle of life on display in Kenya is a meditation on the fierce resilience of all the living things that thrive here: the people, the animals, and the vegetation.

2. Bali 

Teeming with vibrant life, Bali’s glow and the natural high that alights visitors’ awareness while on the island make evident that it is one of the Earth’s chakras.

3. Morocco 

Majestic in scale and ancient in tradition, the heartening harmony of faiths and natural aesthetic design make Morocco a destination for reflecting on the dimensional elements that make us who we are.

See also Africa Yoga Travel

4. Iceland 

The natural, geological wonder of Iceland reminds mindful travelers that we abide on a living, breathing, and powerfully transforming planetary body that deserves deep bows of gratitude and respect. (For more on meditating in Iceland, see page 79.)

5. Isla Holbox 

Tiny, tranquil and idyllic, this tropical beach respite’s quiet, simple pleasures express the potency of practicing the pause.

About our author

Learn more about Crystal and her wellness initiatives for kids and adults at