6 Valuable Lessons I Learned From Yoga

Yoga is my favorite way to exercise. It enhances flexibility, promotes mindfulness, and encourages discipline.

These days, I get my yoga fix from my favorite Youtube channel, Yoga By Biola.

Not only has yoga been doing my body right (aowww), it’s also been having a major influence on me psychologically.

Here are 6 valuable takeaways I’ve learned by practicing yoga.

1. Yoga Taught Me Patience With Myself

I judge myself harshly when things don’t go according to plan. When I make a mistake, I can be pretty mean and impatient with myself. It’s as if I’m mad that I’m falling short of my own expectations. How many of you can relate?

This impatience stems from past experiences where I wasn’t granted the tolerance and compassion for my flaws. My mistakes would be met with punishment which caused me to set up unrealistic standards for myself. Yoga teaches me that this way of thinking is wrong.

It’s ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Allowing yourself to learn and grow instead of punishing yourself for being human is better for your long-term success and self-esteem.

In yoga, it’s less about how perfectly you can get it right the first time and more about your gradual progress.

Abiola Akanni’s practice teaches me to be patient and kind to myself, down to how I talk about my body.

In her “slow flow hip opening” routine, she speaks about observing the body without judgment. Not discrediting yourself for being tight in a certain place or having a limited range of motion, but instead making a mental note of your body’s progress and the messages it’s sending to you at the moment.

Yoga By Biola does an excellent job of encouraging people to move in a way “that feels safe” and to not be so caught up in trying to achieve stretches and bends that our bodies aren’t prepared to handle. Abiola is super accommodating and often recommends using additional accessories (i.e., yoga blocks, pillows, books, belts, etc.) in case you need them.

We could all benefit from being more patient with ourselves. Most of the time, we’re our harshest critics and our own worst enemies when really we should be our own best friends!

Be mindful of how kind you are to yourself in moments when things aren’t going right for you. Grant yourself the graciousness you give to other people, and remember to love yourself unconditionally. (Side note: It’s NOT ok to insult yourself. Even in jest. What we speak, we become.)

2. Yoga Taught Me The Power of Consistency

I started doing yoga to improve my flexibility and counter tightness in my hips and groin, a consequence of constantly sitting and not having enough movement in my legs.

At first, I didn’t see the improvement I was looking for, not taking responsibility for my lack of persistence.

When I started taking it seriously, I noticed that the more I kept practicing, the easier the bends and poses became. Each time I was able to lean into it just a little bit further, and before you know it, I was pulling off moves with ease. (Ok, nailing pigeon pose!)

This inspired me to become more consistent in other aspects of my life. Like

  • My work ethic
  • My hair and skincare routines
  • And relationship building.

With yoga, just like anything you strive to achieve, you have to be consistent to see the results. It helps to think of each practice as a stepping stone in your journey versus expecting results immediately.

If you want to see progress with anything, you have to be consistent.

Establish a routine and keep at it. If you commit to the process, you’ll inevitably get better over time. The hardest part is finding the patience.

Just put your energy into achieving the goal, turn a blind eye to the timeline, and the Universe will take care of the rest. T.T.P!

3. Yoga Taught Me To Dedicate Time To Peace and Mindfulness

As someone who lives with anxiety, my peace is often disrupted by my mind’s desire to constantly overthink which can cause me to lose focus and feel overwhelmed. It’s helpful to incorporate a habit that anchors me in the present and cleanses my mind of this noise.

When I’m done doing a flow, I always walk away feeling calm and alert. The state of zen does wonders for my anxiousness and mental clarity.

I even started keeping a journal nearby because sometimes, the increased alertness inspires new thoughts, feelings, and creative ideas.

This very post was inspired during *one of my daily practices.

We always make time for work, friends, and social media, but how many of us dedicate time to our peace?

Take the time to be present, and as a result, you’ll be more relaxed. It’s hard to be chill when you’re constantly distracted.

Sometimes just a few minutes of deep breathing and stretching can be enough to regain your focus and find your tranquility. Considering how much time we willingly forfeit to our obligations, we should be willing to at least spare 20 minutes for our peace of mind.

*Here’s one of my favorites:

4. Yoga Taught Me How To Use Every Part Of My Body

In yoga, some poses require you to isolate specific muscles in the body. When done right, these poses can improve posture, release tension, and increase range of motion. Yoga will have you activating muscles in your body you didn’t know you had or, at the very least, the ones you misuse. For me, that’s my upper body and spine.

I’m guilty of hunching my shoulders and not sitting upright, which can have negative effects on the chest and back. Poses like cat-cow and triangle pose are helpful for that.

Yoga by Biola offers different yoga flows that target specific parts of the body. Her routine for the neck and shoulders will give you the greatest release of tension you’ve ever felt. (Skip that massage you booked, all you need is a chair!)

Each routine challenges me to activate muscles I didn’t realize were weakened (Like my triceps and biceps. hello spaghetti arms!) or carrying stress.(It’s the shoulders and hips for me).

I take each challenge as a moment of self-reflection and check in on parts of my body that could use improvement. I invite you to do the same.

Remember to be kind and patient with yourself and try to follow the instructor’s tips verbatim to prevent injury.

5. Yoga Taught Me That Breathing Is A Thing

If you have ever attended a yoga class, you’ve probably heard the instructor tell you things like “focus on your breath” or “remember to breathe.” Typically they’ll ask you to inhale or exhale deeply depending the intensity of the pose. I’m sure you’ve rolled your eyes at this advice and convinced yourself it doesn’t work. But, really. Breathing is a thing.

I have found that the more I elongate my breath, the more space I make in my body, inviting me to sink into those really ambitious poses. Like the goddess squat, for example.

Photo courtesy of Youtube.com

Turns out there’s a scientific reason why.

According to healthline.com, deep breathing not only helps you increase your pain tolerance but also lowers your chances of injury and helps you relax.

Now when I’m faced with tense situations (a heated argument, a setback, a vigorous exercise), I take a second to breathe, and it makes a huge difference for my threshold of tolerance and pain. I invite you to do the same.

Try this: Instead of short, shallow breaths through your mouth, try deep inhales and exhales through your nostrils which will allow you to breathe deeper.

Bonus perks if you suffer from environmental allergies. (like me!) It has amazing benefits for the sinuses, too. Happy breathing!

6. Yoga Taught Me To Embrace My Femininity

Doing yoga has unlocked new levels of femininity within me. It makes me feel strong and powerful and unleashes my inner Goddess while encouraging me to try moves in a way that makes me feel safe and in control of my body without feeling ashamed or sexualized. (like the opening of my hips, groin, and chest.)

It promotes body positivity, something I know a lot of women struggle with.

*One of the things that impressed me about Yoga by Biola was her take on woman’s sexuality with her Trap Vinyasa Core demo.

I created Trap Vinyasa to help you explore sensuality and begin identifying as a sensual vessel as opposed to a sexualized body

Abiola Akanni

Here she encourages us to embrace our sensuality with confidence by incorporating twerking or the chakra shake as she so cleverly words it 🙂 (say what you will about twerking, it’s fun A.F. and an amazing workout)

Yoga teaches me that femininity is divine and that I should welcome all the things that come with that: softness, gentleness, sensuality, strength, and fluidity.

Because of yoga, I am a stronger, happier, and wiser version of myself. Not a bad takeaway from an exercise that I get to do from the comforts of my own living room.

Namaste!

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*She also has a playlist called “The Divine Yoga series”, a 6 part series inspired by “the 6 archetypes of the divine feminine”. I invite you to try and make it to the end!

The Problem With Complaining

They say a little complaining never hurt, I say complaining never helped anyone. Here’s what you can do, instead.

Recently, I picked up my copy of “The Power of Now,” a book that was recommended to me by my therapist as a tool to help me deal with my anxiousness, stress, and overthinking.

When I arrived at page 82, under the subheading “Wherever You Are, Be There Totally”, author Eckhart Tolle goes deeper into the concept of unconscious thinking.

When asked to provide examples of what unconscious thinking looks like, he starts with the most common form: complaining.

Complaining: A Common Language for the Unhappy

“To complain is always nonacceptance of what is,” he explains, “When you complain, you make yourself into a victim.”

This line received the writer’s stamp of approval, aka a yellow highlighter, and a verbal “YES!”.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Tolle.

I hate complaining.

It used to be something I did a lot of, if not to vent my frustrations, definitely as a conversation starter.

It’s a common language that unites the unhappy.

Have you ever noticed how common it is for people to resort to complaining as a coping mechanism?

My problem is not necessarily the actual complaint. It’s how it starts and ends there.

Very few people seek solutions to the problems that are constantly on their lips; it’s as if they find comfort in the unhappiness.

I’m a firm believer that complaining is pointless. Sure, it may feel good at the moment, especially when others can relate, but aside from the temporary release of your pain, how else is it beneficial?

It would be more helpful to turn the complaints into a moment of self-reflection.

Time for Self-Reflection

Pay attention to the things you often complain about. It is your mind trying to tell you something: you’re unhappy.

You’re not happy with the job you’re doing, the person you’re dating, or the apartment you live in.

You’re not happy with the way you look, the amount of money you have, or the way you’re being treated.

You’re not happy with the direction your life is headed. That much is clear. But, after a while, we have to take responsibility and have ownership over our lives because anything else makes us a victim, and we are not victims

You are in control of your life, your mind, and your emotions.

You do get to control your narrative and the direction your life is headed.

It’s easy to give up the power and play the victim. This way, we don’t have to deal with accountability. But there’s freedom in owning your life. There’s power in responsibility.

The real question is, what do you plan to do with your power?

The Only Two Options There Are

When faced with an unhappy circumstance, as humans, we are left with two choices: accept it or take action.

By making the conscious (or unconscious) decision to do nothing, you are left in a mental limbo. This is where your pain comes from.

The pain is rooted in the inactivity and continuing to leave your unhappiness unaddressed.

Try this: when complaints come up, try asking yourself, “what can I do about it?”. 

If there are solutions and steps that can be taken, map them out and execute them but start right away. Sitting idly on these steps just puts you back to square one.

If the situation is beyond your control and nothing can be done to make it better, you have to accept it.

The path of acceptance is not an easy one, it will take practice and lots of mental strength. But the latter option is no better or healthier.

The opposite of acceptance is denial, and that denial is what is feeding your pain.

I’m not saying that no one cares about your feelings or to keep them to yourself; we all get down about something. What I’m suggesting is that instead of sitting in these feelings and resorting to complaining to resolve them, which could potentially snowball into bigger problems (such as declining mental health), you should instead seek solutions and ways to help yourself because you are stronger than you give yourself credit for 🙂

So the next time a complaint comes up, what do you intend to do about it?

Are you going to step up, take ownership, and find a way to improve your life and strengthen your mind?

Or will you continue to standby and be a victim of your circumstances?

The choice is yours.

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Find Your Spark: The Findings of a Lost Soul

Read on to find out how I went from being a “lost soul” to suddenly finding my spark

I was 31 years old when I got my spark. For those of you who have NOT yet seen the movie “Soul”, a spark is your life’s purpose, your inspiration and reason for living. It happened when I was watching HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”. This episode featured a young couple who were looking for their first home together. The coffee shop owners found a home for less than $100K and used the remainder of their budget to renovate their home and give it the personal touch they needed to make the home REALLY theirs. Your girl Joanna did her thing, like always! During the last shot of the couple in their home, they were welcoming friends over and telling the camera crew how delighted they were with their starter home, and that’s when I felt it, that twinge of “I want that“. The feeling of “this would make me happy” was shocking to me, you see because I always thought my life’s purpose was Writing.

By the time I was a teen, I knew I wanted 2 things out of life:

  1. To make enough money to live in one of the most expensive cities in the World
  2. To entertain people.

I have been on a quest of fulfillment ever since. That quest has caused me to start working at age 13. Since then, I’ve made my way through five industries and 12 jobs, all of which left me feeling unfulfilled. It didn’t matter whether they were reputable (some of them were) or if they helped me move out on my own (some of them did), none of them made me happy. That’s because I was making moves for all the wrong reasons. Your job isn’t supposed to be your happiness. Your happiness should exist outside of external instruments. Your life should make you happy and your life should not start and end with your work.

It took me up until now to realize a life of working isn’t living and it’s all I’ve been doing up to now. Investing all of my time and energy into my work and having no air around me. No time for fun, friends, or family just duties and then one day you look up and realize it’s all you have. I don’t want a life of completing tasks. I want to be able to conduct science experiments with my daughter, or to lay in bed with my Husband and talk about the theories of the Universe, or call my best friend and laugh and talk for hours, or visit my Grandmother on a Sunday morning and play checkers while we have our coffee. THIS is living folks. These moments are life.

I’m not telling you to quit your job, I’m encouraging you to make sure you exist outside of it.

Hey, we all have to make a living and frankly, I quite like being a Writer. I enjoy helping and entertaining people with my words but it’s not my life’s purpose because working isn’t living. Rapping JCOLE’s “Can’t Get Enough” with my Husband off of our terrace at 1 in the morning is an example of living (that’s a hook right thurr). Talking to my Mom about recipes I found on Pinterest is living. Reading books with your children, catching up with friends, and taking walks outside are all examples of living. Take the time to be alive. I hope you’ve found your spark. And if not, no worries! As the lovely George Eliot once said:

It’s never too late to be what you might have been

George Eliot

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What Life is Like On Vacation

Want to live your life like you’re on vacation? Read on to find out my recommended tips of how you can bring the feelings of the Bahamas right to your own home plus, exclusive footage of me on my most recent family vacation


Woo! It’s day 1 of my vacation… and life is great. I have no complaints like I normally would. I’m not worried about money or bills or any of my day to day stresses. I’m just happy the sun is shining and as far as I’m concerned, the world is my oyster!

Or so it seems. ::ponders::

What is it about vacation mode that makes us feel so…liberated?

Being on vacation makes me want to capture every moment and only occupy my time with things that bring me joy.

Capture every moment and occupy your time with things that bring you joy #vacationmode

Being in a constant state of bliss gives me the energy I need to manifest my destiny: remember you need to feed it as much energy as you can. With my energy tank on full, my cup runneth over allowing me to pay it forward and transfer energy unto others!

With my energy tank on full, my cup runneth over #payitforward

People say life on vacation is different. That it can’t doesn’t translate to real life. Don’t be friends with these people. Un-invite them to your parties. When they ask why, tell them it’s because Ky said so.

I challenge the concept that life can’t replicate what it’s like on vacation. Why not!?

Why can’t I fill my life with things that bring me joy and uplift my spirit!?

It gets to a point where you realize that you’re not living the life you want. And it sparks something. It ignites a change.

That’s all it takes: inspiration.

Before you know it, your life is reaping benefits on a regular basis.

You’re able to have:

  • improved physical & mental health (click here for tips on how to improve your mental health)
  • increased will power (click here for tips on how to increase your will power)
  • better bonds with loved ones
  • and general well being:

These are the real life side effects of vacation according to expert, Psychologist Shannon Torberg.

You can read more about the benefits of taking a vacation here: http://www.allinahealth.org/healthysetgo/thrive/importance-of-taking-vacation

Here’s what I propose: think about how life is when you’re on vacay.

Pay attention to the things that you can do without or anything you choose not to give energy to.

For me: it’s talking and/or thinking about my job; I want to give as little energy to it as possible until I will it out of my life.

I’m trying to succeed on my own! I have plans for me! And there’s nothing I wouldn’t sacrifice to achieve it!

On the flip side, think about what being on vacation brings out of you!

Maybe you make an active decision not to be on your phone as much, or you’re inspired to conquer a fear, or just put on a nice ‘fit and dance the night away!

For me: I’m usually kinder, a lot more patient and have a willingness to say “yes” that I would love to incorporate into my everyday life.

I’d love to hear from you:

Is there an aspect of you that only comes out during vacation mode? Think about how this can be applied to your everyday life and tell me how you think it could benefit you.

Drop it in the comments below.

Here are some exclusive clips from some past vacations with yours truly ^_^

Until our next adventure…


Family Vacation on Carnival Cruise circa 2019


Baby girl’s first time on an airplane ^_^



Whether on land or at sea, I always bring my dancing shoes



The views from the Atlantis Aquarium took my breath away ❤




Build-a-bear experience! I just LOVED our Cruise Director, Cookie

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