God, I hope I don’t turn out like my mother!

God, I hope I don't turn out like my mother!

Yeah right! I am my mother in every way.
I’ve learned through yoga and transformational programs…”The more we resist it persists”. Right.
SO I am in constant state of surrender. I think I am my Mom (Maria) 2.0. and Dad (Michael) Beta.

I love my parents they are special, loving, funny, quirky, generous, and mine. As we enter the end of the spring and summer starts to take off, including my sister’s wedding happening tomorrow, a mother’s day happening, father’s day coming, family vacations planned, and school on hiatus, I am more switched on to family time being more available.

I have had several friends who have given birth recently, I am more present to the immense responsibility, task, and expression of love that comes with entering parenthood.

I am so excited about Yoga Power Play Date: Kids and Parent yoga this Sunday in store at Lululemon and for the month of June I’ve set up of Yoga Power Play dates at Nola Spaces.

I am reminded to take the time to appreciate my Mom, Dad, Uncles, and family friends that have given me possibility, hope, encouragement, and love. I recognize parents, can come in any form with the bottom line being they are exceptional and extraordinary providers of possibility. They are LOVE. Completely defining what it means to be generous and to be of service. I am so thankful and in gratitude for my parents support and space that was provided for me to grow, play, and explore freedom to come into my own creative expression and power as a person.

It took some time, but I never would have come to be the woman I am without them.

It is a gift that inspires me to be me and create the space for others to do the same.


WTF! What the Forty? My 40 Day program by Paige Fussell

40 Days with Paige Fussell


I’m a veteran of the 30-day challenge.  30 yoga classes in 30 days.  No problem.  I’ve done a couple. So what’s an extra 10 days?  Piece.  Of.  Cake.  Sure it is – if you don’t factor in increasing increments of meditation twice a day, dietary restrictions that made me doubt what I thought was my healthy relationship with food, and weekly meetings to discuss your thoughts on the previous and upcoming weeks.

At the time the 40-Day Challenge popped up in my Facebook event notifications, I had been looking for something – anything – to jump start my struggling mind-body.  I had fallen out of a consistent yoga practice.  As a result, I felt unconnected and out of balance with my internal self, I had veered so far off my “intended” path that even breadcrumbs wouldn’t help me find my way home, and I bought my first pair of Spanx.  Add on the lack of motivation to change any of this, and you’ve got one unhappy, floundering lump of humanity just trying to make it to the next quick meal-on-the-couch-in-front-of-the television.  I felt unhealthy both physically and mentally.

But I did it.  One call later and I committed to the guidelines of the program that would govern my life for the next 40 days.  I figured the yoga part would be easy.  Being a 30-day vet and everything, the one day of rest per week was like asking a 3-star Michelin chef to make toast.  I was worried about the meditation.  Could I sit that long?  Could I carve out time every day for just sitting?  Then came the dietary restrictions.  No caffeine.  No problem.  No alcohol.  No problem.  No sugar?  What did you say?  Do you mean like no sweets/desserts?  I can still have white bread, right?  I found out at our first meeting that no sugar meant no sugar.  That was it.  I was in full-on panic mode now. I’ll admit that the hardest part of my program was cutting out sugar in my diet and eating healthier, whole foods.  I had no idea that my nutritional health was in such peril and how badly I was shortchanging myself with pre-packaged and unhealthy foods that comforted and soothed me like a drug.  I now had to plan my meals and actually think about what was going into my body instead of mindlessly shoving in whatever was convenient.  I didn’t think I had missed the alcohol and the caffeine until I had my first post-program real cup of coffee and could drink a glass wine of with no guilt.  Yes, I cheated one time … ok, maybe twice.  And I owned up to it.  But in the end, I wish I had denied myself during those times.  Just stuck to my guns and said no.  Looking back, I cheated … I cheated myself by not just sticking with the commitment I made.  I am a chronic rule-breaker and rebel of authority.  Tell me I cannot do something, and I’ll try to convince you why I can.  This was never more apparent to me after this program.

Lesson learned.  Throughout the program I had a nagging back ache.  No big deal, I thought, I’ve had constant low-back pain since a car accident in 1984.  I would just push through, take it easy, listen to my body.  As the program continued my back pain continued as well, and by the fifth week became so intense I went to an orthopedist.  A herniated disk was my diagnosis – an old injury that had been aggravated probably by my gross inactivity pre-40-day challenge.  My treatment was physical therapy and to discontinue yoga, especially flexion which included seated forward bends (paschimottanasana), definitely forward folds (uttanasana) and even child’s pose.  Child’s pose?  What?  That was a restful pose!  I was disappointed and felt like the worst yogini ever.  Certainly, I had done something to cause this.  Why couldn’t I just take it easy and everything would work itself out.  But it was not going to get any better.  The last week’s theme was triumph. I had nothing to be triumphant about.  I was in such pain I couldn’t even make our group’s celebratory party.  My sixth week’s lesson didn’t come in the sixth week; it came about three weeks later when I could step off a sidewalk and not feel a jarring pain in my spine and down my legs.  I was, slowly but surely, triumphing over the injury.

I learned many lessons about myself during this challenge.  If anything, my 40-day experience has taught me acceptance — acceptance in many areas of life, including surrendering to my recovery of this injury.  I also had to accept that white bread and rice and the foods of my youth no longer have a place in my diet.   I continue to work on my meditation.  But I will always be a work in progress.  I have many things to learn and to teach.

More Paige please…

Check Paige out on her blog! www.sideoftheleaf.wordpress.com

More info on the 40 Day Program starting Monday, May  20  Click Here!


be even bolder and shoot me an email 40 Days  ready to join lauren.a.darnell@gmail.com

One can never consent to creep…

One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar. -Helen Keller

100% Yes. Submitted a video last night to speak at the Lululemon Ambassador Summit in Whistler next week. 30 second pitch to speak to the whole conference in a Pecha Kucha presentation.  Fingers crossed I get to step up and share with the whole conference about the big things we are up to in New Orleans.

I encourage you to step up and step out of your comfort zone today and every day. No hiding. Heart out and head up. Take life head on like your whole chest was a giant sail.

Click here to learn about what I’m up to…


Talk With Your Whole Body

Talk With Your Whole Body

What does it mean to communicate with your whole being? The art of assisting is the art of teaching with your hands. For me being able to deepen a person’s yoga practice through my hands is the physical act of empowerment. In assisting, you are communicating directly to skin, muscles, bones, and the heart. You are speaking encouragement, trust, love, and possibility of a new experience. You must stand rooted and strong in your own feet in order to give the maximum amount of support. To speak with your hands requires the art of observation. In this, we must listen with our own bodies to give this act of love and to receive love as well. We must learn how to do both. I am inspired everyday by sharing the gift of yoga to all. Check out my fund raising efforts to expand the power of yoga and empowerment through NOLA.

“I am greater …

“I am greater than my circumstances.”-Mastin Kipp

Mastin Kipp reminds me to recognize my limiting thoughts about what is possible and what isn’t.  I believe we grow from recognizing where we hold ourselves back and  where our patterns of self doubt reoccur.  We are far stronger than we THINK we are and we are far more capable of living the life we love than we know. We have it within us already and the outside forces that challenge us remind us that we are NOT defined by them but that we are more expansive and ABLE to flow with life and not be confined to one definition, one pattern, or one experience of ourselves. We are boundless. 

We all must start from somewhere. Break out of the habit and start anew. Take the first step with me this weekend @ LIFE Nitty Gritty Beginner’s Workshop.  Saturday April 6, 1-3pm $30