Master Intensive Program @ Istanbul

I have to be honest here. It took a long time of inner debate for me decide to do this intensive program. There a few main reasons why I wished to do it: 1. I was struggling with much emotional imbalance and needed to do long hours of yoga and meditation to clear up emotional blockage as well as my head. 2. The yoga teacher Chris Chavez that led the program is a great teacher and it seemed too good an opportunity to pass on. 3. I really missed Mert (my Turkish askim) – which was also the reason why I wasn’t sure about the idea of going.

Of course, I ended up staying for 16 days in Istanbul, completed the yoga program in this beautiful city and had an absolutely gratifying experience.

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Let me borrow the sentences from Cihangir website: In this Master Intensive, Chris guided guide us through the mystery and magic of the Upanishads. Using these ancient scriptures we went deep in study, practice, pranayama and meditation. This intensive was open to everybody who seeks to deepen their understanding of the journey we are all on. This program counts towards the Cihangir Yoga 300 Hour Transformative Yoga Path.

This was the description of the program but in fact it was so much more. Chris is the most personable yoga teacher I have ever met and I have taken a lot of classes with a lot of teachers. He treats every student of his as his friend and turns the most technical terms into something most easily understandable. He is a wise teacher as well as a humble student. Being a yoga instructor myself, I admire him greatly and have much to learn from him.

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And sunsets in Istanbul are most unforgettable…

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Frida Kahlo: A Style Inspiration

Frida Kahlo is a true legend that clearly needs no introduction. Despite a lifetime of obstacles and pain, she was an ingenious and inimitable painter as well as a resilient and passionate lover of life. She had devoted all of her kaleidoscopic ways to her idiosyncratic art, countless tempestuous affairs, and more importantly, love. But today we are going to focus on her iconic dress sense which continues to dazzle and inspire even to this day.

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Maxi Dress & Skirt with a Twist

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Frida contracted polio at the age of 6, which stunted the growth of her right leg, and experienced a dreadful trolley accident as a teenager, which left her bedridden for almost a year. Because of this series of unfortunate events, she opted for maxi dresses and skirts partially intended to disguise her imperfections. In addition, the vibrant colors of nature in her garden not only inspired her paintings, but also the eclectic patterns in her unique choices of clothing.

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Valentino Resort Collection 2015

Anything Frill

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Natives of the South of Mexico, Frida and the Tehuana dress had an inseparable link. She was almost always seen in a Tehuana dress with the beautiful white frill, implying her tremendous pride in her vivid Mexican heritage and deep-rooted attachment to her country.  It also contributed to the colorful composition of her abundant self-portraits which made her one of the most significant surrealist painters of all time. Moreover, we have to admit that a beautiful flowing dress with a frilly hemline has an incredibly feminine flair and flirtatious touch.

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Valentino Resort Collection 2015

Rebozo / Giant Scarf 

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A Rebozo is a traditional Mexican scarf. Frida wore it constantly, suggesting her immense vulnerability and self-consciousness. Nonetheless, they are usually called shawls in other parts of the world and you can see them in every Parisian corner. It is the perfect transitional piece and a must-have in your fall and winter collection. Wear a big bright-hued scarf with your minimalist outfit to add some extra color and warmth.

Statement Jewelry

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I used to purchase a lot of earrings whenever I went to a boutique because they are my favorite type of jewelry. I bought feather earrings, indigenous culture inspired earrings, rhinestone earrings…pretty much any kind you could think of. But now I just wear my tiny Chanel clovers because I have grown too lazy to take them off before showers (I know, I know…It’s such a bad habit). Regardless, a distinctive piece of statement jewelry can easily brighten up your entire outfit. A plain black sweater may be a bit boring? Add a turquoise necklace. Having a bad hair day? Wear a pair of statement earrings to draw more attention to your beautiful features.

Floral Headpiece 

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The signature look of Frida was an ensemble of a slightly updated Tehuana dress and a tightly braided bun with a floral headpiece. The flowers brought out her intense, brooding eyes and their vivacity was pertinent to Frida’s inherent pain and dark beauty. Although it seems unrealistic to wear a floral headband in daily life, it is a splendid addition to your festival outfits or wedding gowns.

Strong Brows

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I have naturally very thin eyebrows which have been kinda of bothering me since I entered adolescence. For those who are blessed with thick brows, I have only one advice: “NEVER overly pluck them.” They are so beautiful and add great definition to your face. I am not gonna say, “Oh look at Cara Delevingne or any other “It girl” with thick brows.” But keep in mind, looking more “au naturel” is always better for any age.

8 Great Reasons to Teach Yoga

Recently I read a wonderful article with eight important quotes from eight beautiful yogis. As a fellow yoga teacher and a yogi, I had to share them here with you.

Every day we go to work. Eat lunch. Commute Home. Work Out. Make Dinner. Repeat. Do you ever stop to think about WHY you do the things you do? Are you eating the quinoa salad because you’ve made it a million times already, or are you thoughtfully choosing the ingredients and preparing the meal with care? In other words, do you do things simply because it’s become routine or is there a deeper intention behind your actions?

This year, I’ve been questioning why I do certain things. And of course yoga was called into question. In a recent Wanderlust Journal article, I asked Wanderlusters why they do yoga. In the same vein, I was also curious about the yogis who had taken another step from student to teacher. So I interviewed a handful of Wanderlust teachers with one question, “Why do you teach yoga?”

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1. To help others feel good
“I teach yoga because it makes people feel good about their bodies. I’ve learned to accept myself more, and I want to give that to other people, especially in the dance world where it can be very discouraging sometimes.”
– Beau Campbell, dancer and yoga teacher

 

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2. To be a better student
“I teach yoga because I want to be a better student. You learn so much when you teach; it’s a never-ending process of learning by teaching. There’s a certain point you start to stagnate as a student, and you just go out there and you teach to learn.”
– Schuyler Grant, co-creator of Wanderlust

 

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3. To help others achieve goals
“I didn’t actually choose to teach yoga to be honest. I had friends who wanted to practice yoga but they were too scared to go to a yoga studio. So I offered to show them some things and then set up a “class.” I taught five of my friends in my basement and then five turned into ten and many more. I just wanted my friends to practice yoga, and then through that intention to help my friends accomplish what they wanted to accomplish, I became a yoga instructor.”
– Matt Giordano, martial artist and yoga teacher

 

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4. To allow others to choose what they need to learn
“I don’t think I teach anything. I think I hold a space for people to experience an honest, authentic, and pure version of themselves through me being radically honest, authentic and pure. If there’s anything I teach it’s how to hold a space to facilitate and people around you choose what they’re going to learn.”
– Cameron Shayne, founder of Budokon University

 

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5. To help others connect to a higher consciousness
“I teach yoga to serve the best way I can so people can learn how to connect to their own highest consciousness and connect with their inner being.”
– Nirinjan Kaur Khalsa, Kundalini teacher

 

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6. To send out love
“I teach yoga because there’s this force out there called love. At the end of our yoga practice we turn our bodies, minds, and hearts into this antenna that picks up the signal which we can then radiate out as positive energy and nothing in the world matters more than that.”
– Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology

 

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7. To fulfill a destiny
“I teach yoga because it pulled me to teach yoga. It was one of those things where my teacher of fifteen years said, ‘You will teach yoga.’ And I teach yoga because it is in service to my very practice because it reminds me to remain a student.”
– Janet Stone, vinyasa yoga teacher

 

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8. To keep it real
“I teach yoga to bring more ‘real’ into the world.”
– Alex Mazerolle, founder of Girlvana