Insight Timer


There are many meditation apps out there to help you get your practice going. If you feel like you should be able to “go it alone” but somehow you just never get around to it, an app is your friend/gentle task master. Recently I was introduced to one, Insight Timer, through a new friend in Paris. Natasa is also a recent transplant from Madison, WI by way of France, Germany, Serbia … I’m sure I’m missing other places, but you get the picture. Natasa knows about moving and the process of settling in. (Or, shall we call it the agony and the ecstasy!) She has been so incredibly cool to my family – inviting us places and introducing us to her new “tribe” here. One member of the new tribe is Nicho, an Aussie who teamed up with his brother to make Insight Timer an app that goes beyond facilitating meditation — they’re building a vibrant community.

The app lets you know how many people are using the app at that moment, the different downloads members have listened to, and whether they like them or not. Love the interface. It’s all super accessible and easy, with many sessions and instructors to choose from, or you can simply select music that fits your present mood. Most recently, I found myself listening to a great singer chanting (“Wahe Guru!) along to what seemed like mild house music. Perfect. What might you find?

Insight Timer

Weekend in NYC’s Meatpacking


My mother and I recently spent a weekend in New York City. We had not done a mom/daughter weekend in twenty years, so it was beyond overdue. We had a blast! The downtown Whitney was high on our list, so I chose The Standard High Line as our hotel base. I agonized and (like everyone else) spent sleepless nights trolling TripAdvisor reading EVERY review. Some loved it, some … did not. At some point, I just let go and booked it. I went in thinking I would get a “good” experience. (Hey, I’m an optimist.) What I got was AMAZING. From the moment we walked in, the staff was on it. Diversity doesn’t even begin to describe the effortlessly cool staff, but what unites them all is this: making sure your needs are met, you feel like you are exactly where you need to be — and that you are having a fabulous time. That mission works for me.

We treated ourselves to the Hudson Suite (see photo above), which was incredible. Yes! Floor to ceiling windows. Sometimes you forget how beautiful and dramatic New York City is. It was hard to pull ourselves from those windows! The lush High Line is also directly below. But pull ourselves away we did and here are some highlights of the weekend:

The Whitney. What can you say? Beautiful location, incredible art, fantastic people watching, great bookstore.

Gansevoort Market. I’ll get to the food experiences at The Standard, but this nearby market (which will move a couple of blocks north to 14th Street) is a treasure trove of SUCH good treats. Sweet or savory, you’ll find it. Super foods? Check! Quinoa bowls? Check! Meatball sandwiches? Check! Bruffins? Don’t ask — just try them!

Yamuna Body Rolling. If you haven’t heard of Yamuna Zake, this is your lucky day. She focuses on “Body Sustainability” and her classes will transform your walk, posture, flexibility … and yes, you will get lean.

The Standard Patio. Perfect place to eat lunch, have a snack, delicious juice or cocktail. Again, service, food, people watching — all great!

The Standard Grill. Serving all meals, but I like the back room for dinner. Perfect lighting if you like dark and sublime – and I do. Again, service, food, and people watching great. Are you sensing a theme here?

Yoga for Creativity With MaryBeth LaRue


Here’s an online class, brought to you by Yoga Journal, geared towards using yoga as a vehicle to open up your creative energy. Led by Wanderlust Los Angeles yogi MaryBeth LaRue, the mission of this seven-week online class is to take you on a physical, mental, and spiritual journey to deepen your connection to your creative truth. Seven weeks … seven chakras! Each week will address an individual chakra. Also included are weekly meditations, targeted asanas, journal assignments, and intention-setting. I can tell you from personal experience that just doing specific breathing exercises for the throat chakra — associated with your thyroid, the center of listening, communication and creativity — has been amazing for me. Just think of what it will feel like after seven weeks?

Details: Course starts July 11th, 2016; Cost: $250. Find more details here.

Need a little refresher on your chakras? Here’s a helpful guide!



Leonor Greyl – Paris


Today is the day that I finally treated myself to a customized “Hairspa Treatment” at Leonor Greyl in Paris. As a recent transplant to the city, I’ve been … busy. Moving anywhere is intense and moving abroad just dials it up even further. But then again, it is Paris. And amidst sorting the apartment out, settling on a school for my daughter, and the general hilarity of dusting off my French again for unsuspecting Parisians, the city is such a jewel. (Even if it has been under a stubborn rain cloud!) And, for self-care? C’est top! Women love to pamper themselves here. And, though I’m sure many go the day spa route from time the time, the real pampering is in the everyday attention to hair, skin, nails, and their “esprit.”

But today was not about the everyday. Today was about indulgence. Upon arrival, I was in a robe and escorted to a cozy room. My lovely attendant started by applying the amazing Huile de Leonor Greyl to my scalp with a lovely massage. She then produced a magical little machine that examined my scalp. The verdict? Hydration, hydration, hydration! Then came the customized treatment of oils mixed with deep conditioning, a neck and shoulder massage and finally a 15 minute steam session. Amazing. Hair like silk. I’m hooked.

If you are traveling to Paris, this is a heavenly respite from the usual go-go-go pace. Also, the products are incredible. Only all natural plant extracts and vitamins — paraben, silicon, and cruelty-free. I’m a new devotee to their Regenerescence Naturelle Scalp Oil, followed by the Huile de Leonor Greyl plus Masque Fleurs de Jasmin mask. Home spa sorted!

Leonor Greyl

Leonor Greyl Paris


The Body Holiday – St. Lucia


The Body Holiday has always been about one thing: “Give us your body for a week, we’ll give you back your mind.” The resort typically makes the “Best of…” lists because of its consistent focus on well-being and renewal. Definitely on the more luxury end, The Body Holiday has location… location… location. St. Lucia is a jewel of an island. You have probably seen the two lush Pitons mountains in photographs (a World Heritage Site), but there is also the Soufriere Volcano (don’t worry — inactive) with its sulphur springs (and fantastic hot mud baths) that brings people from all over. The Body Holiday, located on the North coast, offers every kind of water sport, yoga, meditation and body work. The spa is major. You can find everything. Thalgo? Check. Ayurveda? Check. Hydrotherapy, Aromatherapy, even something called Far Infrared (an infrared sauna that improves blood circulation and joint mobility). The list is exhaustive. Happy exhaustion.  Upcoming Theme months are for Solo Travelers and Yoga lovers.

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