Summer Lovin, Part 1

I can honestly say that this summer has been filled with some of the most transformative moments of my life. 

I have so much to write about, from Alaska adventures to our engagement, to things I want to share about my yoga practice and classes, to personal and business-related growth, to updates on my going-wonderfully-so-far pregnancy.

To get started, though, here are a few of my favorite moments from Summer 2015. 


I am blessed to live less than 20 minutes away from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This year I've enjoyed many Saturdays, early in the morning, with friends and family practicing yoga by the sea. Love that picture of my dad drinking coffee in Upavistha Konasana, or Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend.

Jim taught a series of self defense classes at Wild Lotus Yoga Studio, and I had a blast getting to assist him. I'm definitely a beginner in this world, so it was great to have his mom Lil on hand to help.

Summer also featured fun times at Picnic Island Park in Tampa. Anik Clemens, Cory Rider, Yen Loyala and I led a great group on our retreat in May, and we had a blast paddling through mangrove tunnels and experiencing nature coupled with the beautiful practices of yoga, meditation and group work. Love these photos on the water taken by one of our retreat participants. 

Jim and I can't go long without disappearing to a river or springs somewhere. I took only a few shots on our way to Ocala National Forest and then put my phone away for a couple days. Paradise. Here we are on the road, sun disappearing fast and still having no idea where we'll camp for the night. Luckily he nixed my idea of camping in the middle of the woods (with, uh, no stove or lantern or knife suited for the wilderness) and we found a very lovely KOA just in time.  

June featured the opening of Inner State Yoga, a new studio in downtown St Pete opened by my good friends Jonathan Creamer and Mike Fecht from Yoga for Men. I'm so excited to be teaching and practicing in this beautiful space with such a great community having formed already in 3 short months. Love this shot from our first class in the space. 

Solo adventures through antique stores. I'll always have a soft spot for old, unwanted, unusual things. There is something so beautiful about a junk yard full of very large plaster animals and wrought iron outdoor dining sets. 

Finally, the meaning of life. That's pretty much it up there. Live fully, experience beauty, take communion in nature, love others, and repeat. 

And don't forget to look up every once and a while. 

Part 2 of Summer 2015 coming soon. Until then...


In gratitude, 



lately, loving: women's circles

Every new Moon, my friend Katherine and I co-moderate a monthly women's circle in St Pete FL.

Lately we've had a few curious men ask us what we do in these circles. 

"Do you hold hands and take turns sharing and cry?"

To which I answer..


And chuckle to myself. 

Well, that's not totally true. While at some point in every circle there is sharing and hand-holding and, yes, even crying, it's rare that all of those things are happening at once. 

But the fact is, I can't tell you what goes on at our women's circles, dude.

That's the point. Sorry :)

I can tell you the basics- we meet, we introduce ourselves, we meditate, we practice yoga, we write, we talk, we journey, we chant, we drum, we do all kinds of things. Every month is a different theme and a chance to catch up, support each other, and explore new parts of ourselves. 

But the best part is the stuff I can't tell you. Because at every circle, we create sacred space. We hold space for each other to release what we need to release, to talk about what we need to talk about and can't talk about anywhere else, to admit to ourselves what is true, to truly listen to each other, to be present in exactly that moment. And all of that, is kept in that moment and that space. We are able to do what we do, because we know that everything stays "in the circle." 

And that's why we circle. 

To have an opportunity to just be there for ourselves and each other in a nonjudgmental space. A space that gives us an opportunity to, as my friend Joran says, "share what's in your heart rather than in your mind."

I can go on and on about my love for women's circles, and our specific circle here in St Pete that has been so lovingly co-created and co-kept. 

But for now, I'll just say... that it took me a long time to recognize the importance of gathering. Especially as a natural introvert, coming together with others (especially other women) was usually a cause of stress, not replenishment. 

But something magical happens when you find "your people." Actually, a lot of magical things happen. It's going to take a commitment though. You have to be ready for your life to change. But if you're ready to find your clan...

Ask the Universe/God/angels/Spirit/etc ...

"Please help me find my tribe. Please help me find the people who will help me evolve into a higher state of consciousness. Please guide me through space and time towards encounters with others filled with serendipity and joy. Please help me generate an attitude of gratitude that will lift me up and lead me to my destiny." 





If you or a loved one would like to join us, check out the information on our meetup page. Do you identify as a man and wish to be part of a circle? We can put you in touch with some friends! Email me :) 


my mat my home

A friend of mine recently took this photo of some of my yoga mats and my Tibetan singing bowl at the Sundial St Pete. Wild Lotus Yoga was Lululemon's studio of the month and I had brought some extra mats to the class I taught in the Sundial courtyard in case anyone needed one.

photo by Megan of https://www.facebook.com/PhotoMegTampaBay 

It brought back some memories for me. That blue mat you see has "A. SABADISH" written in black permanent marker on the bottom, now so faint you can barely see it. I wrote my name on it because in 2008 or 2009 we had been having lots of mat mix-ups at my yoga studio in DC. I was a dedicated yogini back then, taking heated group Vinyasa classes almost every day.

I loved this mat because it had a little extra cush to it, and more importantly, was sticky enough that I wouldn't slide off my mat during my Vinyasas and land in a puddle of sweat. The blue reminded me of the ocean back home and, I've been told, matches the color of my aura.

I brought the mat with me from Washington DC to California. It came with me to practice and teach in fancy Santa Monica studios, on grassy bluffs overlooking the Pacific, and as an extra cushion for my first Reiki clients.

It came home with me to Florida, where I now use it as my "outdoor mat," which means its always in my car and covered in sand. It's held up for 6 or 7 years at this point. It's dirty, worn, fraying and therefore perfect. I can't even begin to imagine how many emotional/physical/mental/spiritual breakthroughs I've had while standing or sitting right on top of it.

It's my magic carpet and an old friend. It's been loaned to and supported many first time yoga students without their own mat, many of whom only came because I promised I would bring an extra yoga mat for them to class. It's perfect for headstands. When I stand on it, the nerve endings in my feet instantly recognize the familiar landscape of whatever-yoga-mats-are-made-of, and send signals to my heart and brain and lungs that it is indeed time to practice the ancient science and art of yoga. In many ways, it's been my home as I bounced between the East and West coasts, finally settling right back where I started, my birthplace in St Petersburg.

It's just a mat. But it's my mat. And it's good to be home.


Take Ten: Breath and Gratitude

Man, sometimes life can just be so go-go-go-go that it’s hard to stay optimistic because there’s always something that needs to be done, that I haven’t done yet. And when everything isn’t magically done, there can be so many sucky feelings that come up- stress, inadequacy, anxiety.

At least that’s how I can feel when there is a whole lot coming up on the radar, which is not so pleasant because I know I should be allowing and receiving all these beautiful things and enjoying them when they arrive. But I'm not, because there are still things that have to happen BEFORE I can allow, receive, enjoy.

Only, false.

We CAN allow, receive and enjoy at ANY moment for two important reasons.

One, we are in charge of our own moments. Two, all it takes is a Breath.

Try this. 

Inhale, exhale. Close your eyes with me and DON’T DO for five whole seconds.

And if life didn’t collapse all around you, take another breathe and close your eyes again.

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5.”

By all means, jump right back into your to-do list. Drive here. Do that. Call her back. Send that email. Prepare that quote. Continue your education. Drive there. Do that other thing.

Just don’t forget to take ten seconds every now and then. And when you have ten minutes, try practicing gratitude. Write down those good things you should be enjoying more than stressing out over.

And notice how everything starts to sloooow down. You’ll have time to plan thoroughly, feel prepared, and enjoy everything go off without a hitch. Maybe even crack some jokes in between too, and have a stimulating conversation or three.

If you can pause for ten seconds, and practice gratitude for ten minutes, your energy starts to stay inside of you, rather than be constantly drained from the outside world. All the prana you fill up with food, breathe, sleep, exercise can be tapped as a reserve, rather than getting rapidly depleted. You elevate yourself into abundance state, full state, satisfied and happy state, which keeps you more productive and kinder.

It’s been one of those days, weeks, months where there’s so much going on that’s so different and new and exciting that MAN I wish I had more time. And I forget that I can have more time, easily, if I remember to breathe and take ten seconds every now and then, and take regular ten minute intervals to stay in the vibration of gratitude.

So here are some things I am grateful for, lately. “Hallelujah!!” to the following:

-Jim and I went MOUNTAIN BIKING today at Alafia State Park. I guess technically in Florida it would be hill biking rather than mountain biking, but it was still really hard!! And I wiped out a lot... luckily I am good at falling thanks to years of dance training. It was great to feel my adrenaline pumping. (Fun fact: adrenaline makes me have MAJOR giggle fits. Like, I can't move at all because my abdominal muscles are spazzing kind of giggle fits.) So today I got to face my fear again and again and I feel power-FULL!

-I get to share wellness EVERY DAMN DAY through the ancient technologies of yoga, meditation, Reiki and essential oils. Quitting my job and co-founding New World Martial Arts and Yoga has brought me so much happiness and meaning.

-Good books. Not working a full time office job means that I actually have time to sneak in some reading now and then. I’ve been reading Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa. Good quote: “Experiencing the upliftedness of the world is a joyous situation, but it also brings sadness. It is like falling in love… You feel both joy and sorrow. That is not a problem… It is the ideal human emotion.”

-dōTERRA essential oils. Earlier this year I enrolled in dōTERRA and started sharing essential oils right away as a business through my own website. Several oils in particular (Balance and Elevation blends especially) have really helped me manage my emotions, which I did not expect at all. But what I’m really looking forward to is helping my new Wellness Advocates grow their businesses and in turn help their families find financial freedom. It has always been a goal of mine to help others in this way and I haven’t really known how; dōTERRA has given me this vehicle and I’m so excited to see everyone blossom!

-My dog. Addy Mae Mae is the best dog. 

OK, your turn!!

Take a deep breath or two, and share in the comments what you are grateful for! Ten seconds plus ten minutes is all it takes to enjoy your life, right now.

And before I forget, I’m grateful for you!!! I have met so many wonderful people these last few months, and I’m truly so happy to get to share my experience on this planet in this lifetime with you, wherever you are.

Hugs and Namaste,



A Mid-day Ritual (and recipe!)

There is a recipe at the end of this post. But first, some musings-

Lately I've been exploring the idea of ritual. Specifically, a morning ritual. I have never been one to naturally rise early, and I confess that I've been a little upset at myself for not being motivated to get up early every day and do yoga, meditate, journal, exercise, make coffee, walk the dog, spend time with my boyfriend, etc etc etc.

But hey, I know I can get up early if I want or need to. I regularly get up early to teach pre-work yoga classes to the 9-5 crowd and it doesn't take much for me to be chipper even on little sleep and no coffee. But on the days where I don’t have to be anywhere until later, I just simply do not WANT to get up. I love sleeping in. I love lying there, gazing out the window. I love browsing social media, or reading in bed. I love not rushing.

You know what else I love? Lunch. Specifically, I love making lunch. I love making a hot lunch in the middle of the day, on the stove. I particularly love getting creative in the kitchen, cleaning out the last bits of leftovers, the small blocks of cheese, the roasted veggies that look a little suspicious, creating a meal out of what feels like nothing.

Today I made a pudla, an Indian dish made with (high protein, gluten free) chickpea flour that looks like a cross between a pancake and an omelet. Like frittatas and quiches, you can throw in whatever you want and are they are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Unlike frittatas and quiches, they take about 5 minutes to make.

I pulled out my ingredients. Browned some bacon, prepared the batter. Served the cooked pudla with greens and a dollop of sour cream, on a tray on my desk. A cup of my favorite tea, sugary and steaming. Sunshine streamed in my office, and as I took my first bite, my mouth melted with happiness.

As I was eating my (unexpectedly delicious) creation, I realized that I have been performing a ritual all along. A mid-day ritual. I’ve never worked traditional Monday-Friday 9-5  hours, so I’ve been preparing homemade mid-day meals for myself fairly often for a while now. Even in high school, we got off early enough where I would often make my lunch at home (back then my specialties were tuna sandwiches, pasta salad and fried rice.)

So I’m not gonna tell morning rituals to suck it, because that just seems rude, but I encourage all of you (especially my fellow night-owls!) to try the mid-day lunchtime ritual. Have fun making a meal. Make yourself a delicious drink. Sit outside or next to a sunny window. Take time to appreciate your food. Unplug. Eat. Enjoy.

I found out about pudlas from Sayward at Bonzai Aphrodite, where she whips them up into gluten free vegan delights. I also found out from her that you don’t have to stress about making the perfect pancake shape. Sawyard got her recipe from Kittee at Cake Maker to the Stars. Here is my not-vegan but still gluten-free version

Alina's Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Pudla

Gluten Free
Serves 1


3 strips humanely raised bacon
Grass fed butter
3 button mushrooms
Leftover steamed broccoli
Salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric

Pudla ingredients:
¼ cup garbanzo bean flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
Salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric
White vinegar

Shredded cheddar (try getting a block of the good stuff and shredding it yourself)
Sour cream


Mix dry pudla ingredients (tiny pinches of the spices) and set aside.

Cut 2 pieces bacon into small bits. Cook remaining whole piece bacon on the stove in a small pan. Set aside on papertowel. Cook small bits of bacon. Set aside next to whole piece.

Reserve bacon fat for future recipes. Wipe pan clean. Add knob butter. Once hot, sauté sliced mushrooms at a relatively high heat until browned. Season. Add finely chopped leftover steamed broccoli – could also add fresh broccoli or any other vegetable. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric (just a tiny pinch of the spices) and stir.

Add bacon bits back to pan with the veggies, stir, and start to smoosh everything in a circle in the center of the pan. Add a bit of water to your pudla dry ingredients until it forms a thin-ish pancake batter consistency. Add just a spash of white vinegar and stir. Pour batter over veggies and bacon on stove.

Wait a few minutes and then flip your pudla. If it doesn’t flip perfectly, don’t freak out. Just get all the uncooked batter bits to the hot surface of the pan because uncooked garbanzo flour can taste gross. Top with shredded cheese and add a lid to pan so that the cheese gets melty as the pudla finishes cooking, only a couple minutes more.

Plate with mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette, then top with sour cream and a fancy triangle of bacon from that extra strip you set aside. Take pictures, then give the bacon triangle/strip to your dog.

Eat and enjoy!




The bad, the good, the gratitude

This weekend, I experienced a series of unfortunate events. 

Friday night, my honey woke me up from a bad dream because I was whimpering so loudly in my sleep. Saturday we drove across the bridge to Tampa for a concert but couldn't get in because it was sold out. We also passed a downed motorcyclist on our search for something else to do (he ended up being OK). Sunday, I got my first ever traffic ticket- $166 for not fully stopping at a stop sign. And Sunday afternoon we attended the funeral for Jim's old karate instructor. 

But this weekend was also filled with so much good. I taught yoga at my favorite studio and met a new student on a beautiful spiritual path. I took a dance class with an incredible teacher. I walked on the sand and visited my friend, Ocean. I held hands with my man and felt supported and loved. I got to see him and his mother deliver the most moving speech together in celebration of their former instructor and friend. I had to time to enjoy a new book. I ate delicious Chipotle. I got soooo many kisses and snuggles from my doggie. 

So, despite all the crap... There is so much more good. I am grateful for this human experience. I am happy.

I hope you have a fabulous week,




little moments

 This morning, I woke up with my legs swung over the arm of the couch, head on my love's lap, as he dozed nestled into the cushions.

7am. Early for a Sunday. Normally, I would let the dogs out for a quick pee, wake my love, and move us over to the bedroom for a few more hours of sleep.

But he seemed content to stretch out on the couch, and while I wasn't wide awake, I was alert and the morning looked too beautiful to miss.

So I poked around the house, and ended up, eventually, in my meditation room. At first, all I could see was my to-do list. Laundry. Dishes. Follow up emails. Editing. Etc.

No, thank you, not right now. I wanted peace and being, not doing. And I realized that my list could wait. 

I could allow myself a morning. Of meditation, and yoga, and time in nature. Of not rushing. Of little moments. 

So I allowed myself to mosey outside, to walk around the garden. I admired our huge oak tree, covered with birds and bugs and lizards and life. I sat under the plumeria and made friends with a brown toad with gold eyes. I watched ant superhighways, dragonflies, blue jays. 

I took a sun salutation, facing the East. Made my way back inside, made a cup of strong black English tea. 

Back in my Reiki room, I allowed myself to have a slow gentle yoga practice, applying my favorite essential oils beforehand. Stretched my hands overhead and held them there for a couple minutes, smiling with my whole body. Shook and danced and wiggled ... Abruptly stopped and stood like a statue, feeling energy buzzing in my hands and fingertips, rooting down through my feet to the earth and back again.

Sat and practiced happiness meditation, which incorporates mudra (hand yoga), sound healing, energy work and intention setting. Bath sounded good. Made some dōTERRA bath salts. Lit candles, played mantra, blissed out. 

And so it went. Made some other great self care decisions and enjoyed my morning of little moments. Now I'm about to get breakfast with my love. I'll get to that to-do list later. 

Happy Sunday, y'all. X's and O's,