Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 Reasons To Live An Ujjayi Life

Non Yogi's always ask me when they see the name of my blog "What's that word?" I then tell them Ujjayi is a type of breathing in yoga and how breath is life. Furthering my yogic journey I've found this word means so much more! Ujjayi translates into VICTORIOUS. 

Reading the section on breath in "The Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manual" by David Swenson, I read this and stopped. Then re-read. It means what?! Let me explain why I was so blown away. It totally enhanced my understanding of yoga, breath, and the meaning of my own blog. So here are my 3 Reasons To Live An Ujjayi Life.   

1.) It's the key to Yoga and Asana practice. Often You will hear the teacher say "You may now begin your Ujjayi breathing" or ""Don't forget your Ujjayi." I can now think of this term beyond "lions breath" or the "ocean sound".  I can begin my victorious breathing. Can't forget to my victory. See how fulfilling that is?  I can see why it is often said if you can breathe, you are practicing yoga. According to Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras "If the restraint of the mental modifications is achieved one has reached the goal of Yoga." We accomplish this by breathing. Clearing, enhancing and strengthening the mind. (Let me not get ahead of myself).

Breathing into a pose will be so much more meaningful now. Usually the thought crosses my mind that I need to push so that I can stay in the pose for just one more breath. If we breathe ujjayi; victorious, into our falling arms or heavily sighing thigh muscles in Warrior II, it can be a more pleasant experience. A boost up into the pose instead of a push forward. 

2.) Breathing clears the mind in more than one way. (Now onto the mental aspect.)  The breath gives you something powerful to focus on rather than you're own random thoughts during meditation.  All that good ole oxygen helps increase grey matter in the brain. I'm not the the scientific sort so I unfortunately can't fluently describe this. In Chelle speak: "It's good stuff for your brain woot!" In times of frustration, sadness, stress or what have you, what are we always told? "Calm down and take a breath." Now, I won't take any breath.  I will let the ocean soar from my throat or a humble lions roar. Victory in and out of my lungs. What ever is gong on will soon enough be sorted out. 

3.) Life Itself! When I realized I named my blog "Victorious Life" my heart jumped weeping excitedly. Is that not the goal of this blog, my life, all our lives? Controlling all the negative nonsense that floats around in our heads. Being present in every moment possible so we don't miss today, which is everyday. Expressing who we really are, which is always inside of us and fulfilling our purpose.  Connecting and learning from one another as if we all had ancient secrets in our DNA that mutated beautifully with freedom. Opening our hearts so they are not whole vessels but cups perpetually to be simultaneously filled and overflowing with love. 

So here it is. My Official Introduction to my blog.

Welcome to Ujjayi Life

Our Victorious Life 

Welcome and Namaste My Friends
~Chelle aka Writer Yogi

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take A Step Outside

So this week I am on vacation!! Yay!! That means I get to write as much as I want and to have the energy to  enjoy what we are supposed to enjoy on a regular basis.  That doesn't mean I don't have the tendency to shut myself inside on the computer. This happened most of yesterday, but I did have a weekend of outings and the week is still young! 

Taking a quick moment to think, "I should go outside and read a few pages of the Yoga Sutra's" (so pumped to read it!) I did just that. I wish I could remember the article I read, but I believe it said something about if you don't follow a decision you make within 30 seconds (it could have been less) you won't do it. So if I hadn't gotten up, grabbed my book after putting some cinnamon rolls in the oven and stepped outside I would have missed this!....

It was a lot brighter outside but my phone couldn't handle it haha. I still love how they turned out. Especially when I began to play with effects. I'm so glad I listened to myself in the few seconds it took that thought to cross my mind. I noticed the wind was blowing and ran all the way upstairs and took my phone off the charger to get these pictures because a few minutes later, that gap in the trees was bare! If I had remembered I have an actual camera (it had been so long without one I am still not used to it!)  I would have shown you the spider web on my porch railing connecting to the bush beside it, if I could have figured that out. *chuckle* 

Today, or any day for that fact, Let's attempt to use a few minutes or seconds to take a step outside. 

Namaste my friends,
~Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meatless Monday

Today I'm going to try my best to participate in Meatless Monday. A non profit initiative for better living for ourselves and the environment. It's actually pretty cool. Check Meatless Monday's website HERE. You can learn about the initiative and also, incase you were wondering, you don't have to become a vegetarian. Unless you want to, then this is a great way to get your feet wet! 

I got inspired to join in by a&o 'Discover Inspiration'. One their website you can find MM recipes, along with other great articles. They are also on Facebook. I don't consider myself a huge meat eater. Yes, I do eat meat, but how can I claim my per portions without paying attention?

Last week I wanted to try my first Meatless Monday. I failed early afternoon eating leftover pizza with sausage on it. I didn't even think about it! I had not completely committed to the idea in my mind that day or the night before so I can at least say it wasn't a moment of weakness. It was a moment of not paying attention. This event makes me happy. Yes, my Fail was an actual Win. (whoot!) Here's How: Looking back on last Monday I can think about why I want to participate in this international initiative. Also, have one way to assess my relationship with meat. 

1. It's tasty. Please forgive me staunch vegetarians and vegans but it's the truth for me. I was raised eating meat. It makes me think of the first time I told my birth mother my (now) husband was a vegetarian and she gave a little My Big Fat Greek Wedding reaction.

Bride: "He doesn't eat meat."
Mother: "What do you mean he don't eat no meat?!"
Mother: "That's okay, I make lamb." 

I admit,it wasn't that bad at all, it just made me think of that scene. She did however raise and eyebrow like "What? What's that?" I find when you grow up eating meat, it's really hard to just let it go. It's like, why wouldn't you eat it? It's already dead and its so good. What's the harm and why waste it? I Love fish and chicken wings! There I said it. haha. Seriously, I do though. 

2. It's Filler. Thinking on why there is sausage on my pizza (besides yummy) or why I wish to avoid vegetarian meals is I feel meat is filling. I actually have this notion I can't get satiated from a meal if meat isn't in it.  I know we are not really supposed to get full, and I'm totally fine with that. It's just a part of me says I won't even get the sitting back with a small smile "Ah, that was good" feeling if it's completely veggie. 

What are my final thoughts on my first Meatless Monday? Well, first, I hope I don't mess up since the day isn't over! Also, with these two major reasons listed, and seeing the site on the benefits, I didn't see why I shouldn't participate. It's one day a week and an all around benefit for the environment and yourself. What a super two in one. I can assess how often I turn to meat and the reasons why. Comfort, laziness, fear of missing out a satisfaction in a meal. I've also found that I can turn this day into one of Gain instead of a day of Loss.

I have a tendency to shy away from the idea of something if it involves me losing something. MM can be seen as Not getting to eat meat. Less meat. I don't get to have something. What I will try to do to turn the idea around in my head for a day of gain is to perhaps give it an alternative name like More Veggies Monday. More veggies. More chances to prepare a colorful healthy meal. More vegetarian cooking experimentation (and cooking in general) for myself and my husband! 

Now, will this result in me being able to dedicate every Monday to this? Possible *gasp* vegetarianism? *chuckle* That's for another day in the distant future and a distant post. The jury is Living in the deliberation room on that one! I do know I want to try it for a least a month and to enjoy this first Meatless Monday. In celebration and getting into the spirit, I made myself a salad! (picture below) With fat free ranch which I used to swear was a sin to be made until I found one that tasted pretty good. :P

Anyone for joining me next Monday?! 

Namaste my friends,

~Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Spinach Leaves
Cherry Tomatoes 
Green Pepper
Baby Carrots
Quorn Meatless and Soy-Free Southwestern Chik'N Wings

Sunday, August 26, 2012


It's Sunday and I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I know I sure did. These posts are a new addition to my blog.  Weekly updates of my blog posts in one spot in case you missed a post in the middle of the week. (Yay!) I will put the links to each blog post in once location for you. I may add some other fun things in these as well from time to time like poetry, articles, other things for inspiration and fun! 

Since this is new. I appreciate any feedback about the format; if there is anything you think I may be missing, need to get rid of, or you just would really want to see on a weekly basis. 

So Cheers To the First Weekly Updates! As always, thanks for following along! 

Keep the Faith 8/14 (a little earlier but that's okay) : The title speaks for itself. (And it sings too) 

Poetry From Writer Yogi 8/19 : A collection of Poetry I have in this blog so far.

Be Bold: A Fresh Slate 8/23: I have 3 major goals for the end of the year. One is completed! 

How Disconnecting is the Best Connecting 8/25: A link to my very first article to go live on ! 

Confessions Of A Writer Yogi 8/26: My confessions. Writer Yogi style! What are yours my child? 

Namaste My Friends,
~Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Confessions Of A Writer Yogi

I confess when I couldn't remember my dreams upon waking for some months, I worried they may have forgotten themselves.

I confess I love perfect strangers because I believe everyone should be loved for the simple reason they exist. Nothing more. 

I confess I want you to like me and hope you do in the way I am for I refuse to change for anyone. 

I confess I want you to see me with your eyes wondering into my words asking, "How have they come from her there?" 

I confess I rather touch you with hands dirty from loves work than  cleanly protected from connection.

I confess love should be scattered through the streets like confetti at Mardi Gras. 

I confess I want us to plant trees growing older than we ever can to carry our lives into other futures. 

I confess I don't really know where I am going but I'd rather walk forward trying to find direction then stay where I am. 

I confess the universe has a way of helping connecting the dots once you get a pencil and start drawing the line. 

I confess opening your heart to absolutely everyone will give you the chance to make everyone your family. 

I confess my hands were my favorite part of my body until my current position has them scratched, scared and calloused. It scares me. 

I confess I recognize I have a couple crooked teeth and still grin wider getting compliments on my smile. 

I confess my hair does what it wants, making it an interesting mystery and I wish I was more like it. 

I confess I am not perfect. If someone was to offer me the chance to be perfect, I would laugh with my whole body asking "Don't you see the perfection in my slanted lines?" 

I confess I aspire to be a 
long haired
green tea drinking
less meat eating
crazed dancing
chocolate eating
poetry breathing
erotic novel reading
young eyed
old soul
Ashtanga Yogi.

And That's When The World Will Begin. 

Namaste my friends,
~Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How Disconnecting Is the Best Connecting

Thank you! xoxo

Sometimes you have to get away from it all the connect with everything that really matters! I am so proud to announce that my first article "How Disconnecting is the Best Connecting"  on one of my favorite sites MindBodyGreen has been posted today! I hope you read and enjoy! Feel free to share on this blog post or on the article what disconnecting makes you better.

Namaste My Friends,

Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Be Bold: A Fresh Slate


The sky early this afternoon reminded me of what this day was all about. A clean slate! So blue and clear like it was ready for me to finger paint on it. Today, I've gone natural. I've cut all the chemically treated hair off and am left with what grows out of my head as is. I can now accept and embrace my lovely strands for how they are meant to be. A way to accept myself for how I am meant to be. 

A few months ago, I realized I was really fearful of this process! Instead of waiting only 4 months to cut my hair, I was going to wait a year. That's all fine and dandy until I realized why. Not doing something because you are afraid is not a good reason at all. Finding this out, I went from waiting for 12 months to skipping the last 8!

Sassy and syked!


One fear about this process was, am I rushing into this? I can't really go back in the way I want if I'm wrong. What if I fail again? (I have tried before and that didn't go so well). My last fear was, My hair will be SO Short! I'll look like a boy. I've wanted long hair for such a long time, why would I do the opposite? 

My mind was a few steps behind what my heart already knew. I'm not rushing. I am taking all my extra baggage and leaving at the bus stop. Why pack for a month when you'll only be gone for a week? I've been wanting a completely fresh start for such a long time. This is my chance. Now is the time to take it, not later. Having natural hair is a journey of self acceptance. I have a post on lessons learned from Yoga and going natural HERE. It's accepting the way that I am  instead of trying to change it. Especially when those changes are Not working. 

So here I am. One goal down before the year is out and I can barely even organize my thoughts in this post for my immense joy! In the words of the Lovely Jennifer Pastiloff "Fuck You Fear!". I've decided, it's time to Be Bold! 


Sunday, August 19, 2012

POETRY From Writer Yogi

I thought I would make a blog post of all the poetry I have posted for the year so far, so it can be in one place for people! They are all listed below as links. Please feel free to comment on the posts themselves or on my Facebook page. I want to eventually come out with a poetry collection so I'd love to hear your feedback! Much Love to You All xoxo 
image by

Inside Out

Dreaming in Paris: To and Inspired by Jennifer Pastiloff 

The Day's Movement


Jellied Fingers

Head Back Hair Dancing

Dear Soul

Coloring Outside The Lines 

The Mat

Dear Stranger, I Love You 

Namaste My Friends,

Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keep The Faith

This has been my song of the day!  "Keep The Faith" by my man Michael Jackson. I don't even know how many times I have listened to it. There are times when my heart feels low hiding at the bottom of my ribs instead of up and beating strongly in my chest. Keep the faith actually sums up what I have been learning this year.

 If YOU keep the faith, nobody can stop you. 

YOU have got to know when it's good to go.  

YOU have the power to change what you want, and to have what you want in your life. 

Just keep the faith and it's only a matter of time before it's yours! 

I don't think we always realize how much power we really have over our own destinies. All you have to do is have some confidence, just believe, and then you've won.


"Keep The Faith"

If You Call Out Loud
Will It Get Inside
Through The Heart Of Your Surrender
To Your Alibis
And You Can Say The Words
Like You Understand
But The Power's In Believing
So Give Yourself A Chance
'Cause You Can
Climb The Highest Mountain
Swim The Deepest Sea, Hee
All You Need Is The Will To Want It
And Uhh, Little Self-Esteem
So Keep The Faith
Don't Let Nobody Turn You 'Round
You Gotta Know When It's Good To Go
To Get Your Dreams Up Off The Ground
Keep The Faith, Baby, Yea
Because It's Just
A Matter Of Time
Before Your Confidence Will Win Out
Believe In Yourself
No Matter What It's Gon' Take
You Can Be A Winner
But You Got To Keep The Faith
...Gon' Keep It Brother
You Got It
And When You Think Of Trust
Does It Lead You Home
To A Place That You Only Dream Of
When You're All Alone
And You Can Go By Feel
'Stead Of Circumstance
But The Power's In Beliving
So Give Yourself A Chance
I Know That You Can Sail Across The Water
Float Across The Sky, High
Any Road That You Take
Will Get You There
If You Only Try
So Keep The Faith, Ow
Don't Let Nobody Take You Down,Brother
Just Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
And Your Feet Flat On The Ground
Keep The Faith, Baby, Yea
Because It's Just A Matter Of Time
Before Your Confidence Will Win Out
I Told My Brother How To Do The Thing Right
Lift Up Your Head And Show The World You Got Pride
Go For What You Want
Don't Let 'Em Get In Your Way
You Can Be A Winner
But You Got To Keep The Faith
Gon' Keep It Brother
You Got It
I Know That Keepin' The Faith
Means Never Givin' Up On Love
But The Power That Love Has To Make It Right
Makes It Makes It Right
Keep The Faith
Don't Let Nobody Turn You 'Round Brother
You Got To KnowWhen It's Good To Go
To Get Your Dreams Up Off The Ground
Keep The Faith Baby, Yea
Because It's Just A Matter Of Time
Before Your Confidence Will Win Out
Better Stand Up And Act Like You Wanna Do Right
Don't Play The Fool For The Rest Of Your Life
Work On It Brother And You'll Make It Someday
Go For What You Want
And Don't Forget The Faith
Look At Yourself
And What You Doin' Right Now
Stand Back A Minute
Just To Check Yourself Out
Straighten Out Your Life
And How You're Livin' Each Day
Get Yourself Together
'Cause You Got To Keep The Faith
Uh, Uh, Uh
Don't Let Nobody Take You Down, Brother
Just Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
And Your Feet Flat On The Ground
Keep The Faith, Baby, Yea
Because It's Just A Matter Of Time
Before Your Confidence Will Win Out
Lift Up Your Mind
Before Your Mind Gets Blown
Some Things In Life
You Best Just Leave Them Alone
Go For What You Want
Don't Let It Get In Your Way
You Can Make It Happen
But Ya Got Ta Keep The Faith
Gon' Keep It Brother
You Got To Keep The Faith
Yeah Keep The Faith
Gon' Keep It Sister
You Got To Keep The Faith
Now, Now
I'll Show My Brotha
How To Do The Thing Right
Lift Up Your Head
And Show The World You Got Pride
Go For What You Want
Don't Let 'Em Get In Your Way
You Can Be A Winner
If You Keep The Faith
Straighten Out Yourself
And Get Your Mind On Track
Dust Off Your Butt
And Get Your Self-Respect Back
You've Known Me Long Enough
To Know That I Don't Play
Take It Like You Want It
But You Got To Keep The Faith Gon'
Don't Let Nobody Take You Down
Just Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
And Get Your Feet Back On The Ground
Keep The Faith, Baby, Yea
Because It's Just A Matter Of Time
Before Your Confidence Will Win Out
But Till That Day I Said You've Got To Keep The Faith!

Namaste my dear friends,

~Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dear Stranger, I Love You

Dear Stranger,
I Love You. I know you are walking down the street and I will never see you again in my life beyond this passing, but know what I say is true. I love you because you have breath.  You are like me, small on this mossy rock called earth spinning on an axis tilted because even the world knows you can't truly see something for what it really is head on. I love you because you are not like me as well. You see the world and move through it in ways that I will never do and I am amazed and respect you for that. I love you stranger because if I love you, there is a better chance I will reach to you as a friend instead of an enemy.

Dear Stranger,
I love you because in doing so, I can stretch my affection further than warm taffy and solidify my acceptance of whatever is in you stronger than fresh marble. By sharing my love beyond it's limits, removing the false reality of difference between our lives, it roots like eager seeds and grows uncontrollably. Even more vast than fairytale beanstalks this love. It will never shrink and die or be cut. It's grown to high and large , it touches the sun. How can the dark reach it there?

Dear Stranger,
My love for you can be considered illogical. Perhaps it is. I do not know you. You do not know me. How do I know if you are good or bad? That is where the true love comes in. I don't care who you are. My definition of love is acceptance and respect. There is nothing I can do about where you have been in life and unless we happen to meet face to face beyond our passing, I cannot effect your future. And that's okay. Love is the best "just because".

Dear Stranger,
I Love You. Why? Because you exist. And that's all the reason I need.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Make Your Dreams Physical

This is my "Chapbook" It started off as a joke. Now i'm  rethinking it.

This is my first "Chapbook". A couple pages of my poetry and a page ripped from yoga journal I turned into a cover. I can't even remember how I got this idea. All of a sudden I went, yeah, this will be great! Which is how a lot of my ideas start haha. I showed it to my writing group as kind of  a joke. Thinking on it more, I realized, it was a good idea!

I had in some form, made my dream real. I do want to publish my poetry. I want to be known as a poet. I want people to read or hear, when I'm reading from said collection ;) , my words and feel what I feel. I want to share all I have and take all that is  given back so I can share more. I am most alive when I am vulnerable so it is only natural for me to want to bear my soul.

It made me think about making another fake chapbook. Correction. I want to make a rough draft of my chapbook.  One that I don't slap together in 5 minutes just on a whim. Make a fairly decent cover actually thinking about what design would be appropriate. Put all of the poems I have written so far in there. Make a legitimate table of contents. A dedication if necessary, etc.

Making this chapbook, I can physically feel the pages and cover in my hand.I  can see my words in print with a cover, my name and title on the front. Smell the paper (I love book smell!) Even better, it is in real life! 

No more will I have to abstractly try to think about what my book would look like. How it will feel in my hands. How my words look on the page. Even if this version is not the final version, which of course it won't be, I will have a solid idea and manifestation of what I am aiming for. No more window shopping at a bookstore or envying the books on the table at an author reading. There will be no more struggle trying to mentally construct what I want in my daydreams. I can look on my desk and say, "Wow, that's my book. That can really be mine because, well, there it is!" 

What's something in your life you really want? Can you make a physical rough draft of it before it's in its final stages of completion? I recommend you do. That way, you know your dream will come true for the fact,  it's literally in your hands! 

Let's make our dreams physical my friends,

Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dreaming In Paris: Poem To and Inspired by Jennifer Pastiloff

I'm sitting at a mustard linen table in Paris.
Someone speaks.
I barely hear a whisper.
Today is not the day to care about what I can't or don't.
I've practiced among fellow life lovers.
Those who fearfully dance to music only to release worry through
Flailing arms, shaking hands, pointed feet and hair leaping without care.
How perfectly imperfect the dancing was that manifested such joy.

This day is to be in wonder of small things usually unnoticed.
Making life feel larger than sighing stars about to die in another solar system.
The soft air in morning that makes me laugh
Like it was raining feathers from heavens bedspreads
When tossed by dawn’s prayers.

My wine tastes like this flower unfolding on the table.
Bold. As it buds orange petals sweetly to summer air.
Leaning back in my metal chair I feel the universes "Om" underneath my skin.
I spread my arms not to miss greatness causing goosebumps under sundrenched flesh.

The waiter asks with bored lips, "Are you alright?"
I gaze at him wondering how he doesn't taste the strawberry sugared breeze
Where children with innocent pink lollipop fingers have unleashed a thousand hopeful dreams.

I laughed and said, "Of course! I am happy. Why wouldn't I be? Now pour me another glass of wine."
Last line are words by Jennifer Pastiloff herself. I read that line and went, "Got to write about it!"  Jen, you're really inspiring, sweet and I appreciate how open and honest you are in sharing your experiences with us! You are only yourself and I Love that so much. I hope all enjoyed.

Until next time my friends, Namaste,
~Chelle aka Writer Yogi 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Yoga Barbie. A Good Start We Need To Finish

 I think yoga barbie is a great idea. It gets barbie yet another job with her endless supply of things she can do. As for what she comes with, they may not be ideal to everyone but that's where a childs imagination and parents come into play. If you want barbie to have a mat, get a swatch and tell your kid, this is barbies mat. Some kids may do it themselves! Perhaps tell you kid about yoga more and they may find ways to interpret them on their own.

There will also be kids like myself (I hope still) that hardly used their barbies soley for what they came in the package as! I would change their outfits and have my own adventures that I made up. Then, my mom gave me swatches of cloth, string of all colors sizes, some with sparkles and I would have a field day because I had more props (just to name a few)! Then dont forget the kid who cares neither way and will cut all her hair off and  color the dog.

What I am trying to say is, Matel is a company, and sadly companies jobs are about money and what sells. It is our responsibility as consumers and those who are parents,to help kids understand things better.Educate them properly.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Namaste My Friends,
~Writer Yogi 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Straight From My Personal Journal

"I want to move people until their hearts burst like mine and our pieces get mixed up and since we don't know whose pieces are whose, we take what we can and end up forever being a part of each other"

I was riffing in my journal and this is how it ended.
Namaste My Friends, 
Writer Yogi. 


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