Winter Wellness Workshop at Just Be Yoga – Danville, CA

❄️ Join me Sunday December 12th 4-6pm for my Winter Wellness Workshop at the beautiful Just Be Yoga studio in Danville, CA. 

Relax in candlelit ambience with yin yoga, guided meditation, yoga nidra, reiki, and sound healing. Receive a custom essential oil blend created by yours truly, and, savor unctious chocolate. Pamper yourself with this two hours of self care for your soul. Bring a friend. Only a few spots left!

Book at myjustbeyoga.com/events. Just a few spots left!

About Amelia Andaleon

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a Certified Yin Yoga teacher through Bernie Clark, Certified Master of Wisdom and Meditation through davidji , Certified Reiki 1 and 2 Healer, and an Essential Oils Educator. I love to share the various tools, techniques and healing modalities I personally have benefitted from, and share them in my special workshops, events and retreats.

I look forward to sharing this special, relaxing healing session with you! 🙏🏽💓

Namaste,
Amelia

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

November and December tend to be busy times in my life, not just because of the holidays but, also because my family is full of Sagittarius birthdays, including mine. 🙂 When life feels hectic and cluttered, I pause and gather up my tools to destress and focus: breathe, meditation, yoga, nature walks, and filling my mind with thoughts and teachings which promote calm and clarity. My wise friend on my nightstand, “The Four Agreements”, reminds me how to rewire my brain to clear the clutter and create space for joy and ease.

“In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.”

Introduction from “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

I recently completed a series of episodes on my Spiritually Fit Yoga podcast reflecting on The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, including a meditation with affirmations to facilitate creating the habit to incorporate these agreements as a code of conduct.

I highly recommend reading the entire book and listen to each of my podcast episodes. Notice what shifts occur when you bring these four agreements into the forefront of your thinking. Repeat these meditations often. I’m curious how these agreements impact your life! Drop a comment below.

Spiritually Fit Yoga podcast episodes on The Four Agreements


Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holiday Salad: Wilted Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Seeds Recipe (From Rebar – Victoria, B.C.)

During the holidays I attempt to include dishes which are both indulgent and healthy. I first savored this Wilted Spinach Salad at one of my favorite restaurants, Rebar, in downtown Victoria, British Columbia. And, I was delighted to find the recipe in the Rebar cookbook.

From an ayurvedic point of view, during fall and winter seasons, raw salads are not recommended as they are harder to digest during these cooler seasons. This wilted salad slightly warms the spinach with the deliciously warm balsamic dressing.

I found the following recipe here at this website. My only embellishment is adding pomegranate seeds for a pop for holiday color and burst of tangy juiciness! Enjoy!

From: https://undertheteacozy.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/wilted-spinach-salad/

Wilted Spinach Salad
with olives, feta, and garlic-balsamic vinaigrette

From Rebar

Ingredients:
Vinaigrette-
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tsp honey
1 1/2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1/4 Tsp cracked pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or grapeseed oil)

Salad-
1 lb spinach leaves, washed and stemmed
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and julienned
1 red onion, finely julienned
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 pine nuts, TOASTED (yes it makes a difference! watch so you don’t burn them)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

OPTIONAL: sprinkle with pomegranate seeds

Prepare and enjoy!
Thoroughly combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking all the while. Correct seasoning to taste. Prepare the remaining salad ingredients. Combine spinach, olives, peppers and onions in a large salad bowl. Just before serving, heat dressing over medium heat in a small pot. When it begins to simmer, remove from the heat and drizzle over the salad while tossing with a pair of tongs. Gently mix in the fresh mint and garnish with pine nuts and feta cheese. Serve immediately.

November Full Moon Release Ritual – Mantra and Affirmations

Photo Credit: Rami Ammoun, Instagram @rami_astro

Join me for a free Yoga and Meditation class on Insight Timer on Saturday November 20, 2021 8-9am PST/11am-12pm EST. Click here to join.

The latest partial lunar eclipse came around like a celebrity or ancient sage, because the last time it occurred was 500 years ago.  Click here to learn more: what is a partial lunar eclipse?

Do you place more importance on infrequent events than valuing everyday routines?  It’s a little humorous thinking about me getting excited about another load of laundry (YAAY!) or schlepping my daughter to one more school function, and, yet, I can imagine in the future I might reflect on wishing I appreciated all of these ordinary moments like precious jewels of memories.

Consider noticing the charmed moments in your every day life. 

Every full moon is an opportunity to release what no longer serves you.


Full Moon Ritual

  • Meditate on what no longer serves you.
  • Write it down on a piece of paper.
  • Burn it, shred it, flush it – mindfully dispose of the paper, the words, the energy of what you are releasing, until the paper has burned to ashes or has completely transformed into unrecognizable pieces.
  • Repeat the mantra below and/or repeat one or all of the following affirmations. Repeat them aloud. Repeat until you feel a lightness, and, really really let go of attachment to holding on to what no longer serves you.
  • Take some time to receive and allow the fullness of the moon to amplify your release.
  • Journal if you’re moved to write and reflect.

Full Moon Release Mantra

Agnimeele Purohitam.

sounds like Og-knee Me-Lay Puro Hee-Tom, (roll the “r” in Puro)

Translation: “I surrender to the fire of transformation.”

  • Repeat out loud 3 times, whisper 3 times, then silently 3 times.

Full Moon Release Affirmations

  • “I release you.”
  • “I let you go.”
  • “I loosen my grip on you.”
  • “I vow to stop using you as an excuse.”
  • “I give myself permission to give you up.”
  • “I cast you out and take back my power.”

Feel free to share your experience after completing your own full moon ritual. Leave a comment below or DM at instagram @spirituallyfityoga. May you feel allow the opportunity to welcome a freedom from what no longer serves you. Namaste.


This full moon release ritual and affirmations are inspired by my meditation teacher, davidji. Thank you davidji for your inspiration. I am grateful to be trained as a Certified Master of Wisdom and Meditation. More about his meditation teacher training here.


Feed Your Soul…and Your Belly (Easy Tomato Basil Soup with Pesto)

Hot bowl of Tomato Basil Soup with Pesto

One of the most important and effective forms of self-care is the one that I often skip when I feel busy, overwhelmed, or tired: cooking a homemade meal.

I confess, sometimes the most challenging part of cooking is grocery shopping, it’s not my favorite activity and I’m making peace with it. It’s nothing new to plan ahead and prepare your shopping list and yet it’s a mindfulness habit I am cultivating. Even with cooking, setting an intention can ease my suffering and bring ease to shopping. For those of you who LOVE to shop, you may not relate to my struggle, but, for those of you who dread getting groceries, I know you can feel my pain! LOL

So…a few weeks ago, my daughter and I had a lunch date at Urban Plates and we fell in love with their Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Pesto. She requested we get it more often so I set an intention to make it at home. I found this recipe for a Urban Plates mock tomato basil soup:

https://pjputerbaugh.blogspot.com/2016/12/mock-urban-plates-roasted-tomato-soup.html

Since we were stopping at Trader Joe’s I bought the ingredients using all TJ products then I modified the recipe accordingly, and it turned out delicious! Yum!

Mission accomplished! I had a list, one-stop shopping was easeful, cooking the soup was so fast and simple it barely felt like I was cooking. And, yet, the house was filling up with the aromatic smells of the onion and garlic then the sweet tang of the simmering tomato soup. This semi-homemade recipe was such a great recipe for my daughter to learn. The soup was delicious and was enjoyed for a few days including for my hubby and daughter’s lunches easily stored in a thermos.

This recipe can easily be adapted to be gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or made with a meat broth.

TOMATO BASIL SOUP WITH PESTO

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 jars TJ’s Giotto’s Organic Marinara Sauce 
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 can TJ’s light coconut milk  
  • 4 cups TJs organic veggie or chicken broth
  • 1 small can TJs organic tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • for garnish:  swirl of TJs pesto sauce if desired

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15ish minutes

Serves: 8

1. Saute the onion till soft in a large pot with garlic and olive oil.  Add marinara sauce,  coconut milk, tomato paste, and broth and stir well.

3. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5-10 minutes. (original recipe suggests 5-10 minutes but, I simmered it for about 15 minutes until it thickened a bit.)

4. Blend in a processor (optional) 

Serving suggestions:

  • Swirl of pesto is optional but, I recommend it.
  • Croutons on top upon serving.
  • A grilled cheese sandwich would make this a classic comfort food meal.

Notes:

  • I modified the recipe to use the full tetra pack of broth which is 4 cups, the original recipe calls for 3 cups.
  • Since they discontinued the 28 oz. Tuscano Marinara sauce in the can, I substituted with the Organic Marinara Sauce in the glass jar which is 25 oz.  
  • Because I find myself throwing out the remaining tomato paste in those small cans, instead of using 2 tablespoons I tried using the whole can and it gave it a nice rich tomatoey flavor.  
  • The original recipe calls for light coconut milk in another brand but, I was in a one-stop shopping mode so it was TJ’s all the way!  Next time I’d probably opt for full fat coconut milk. It was yummy with light too,
  • Both of TJs pestos are yummy.  Try the vegetarian TJ’s Genovese pesto or TJ’s Vegan Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto. 
  • Because I made this gluten-free I skipped the croutons but, served with TJ’s Organic Naan Crackers which my fam loved.  TJs has Cheese and Garlic croutons which would give a nice texture to this soup.
  • I used a hand-blender but, in my opinion, it didn’t really need it. If you skip the last “blend in a processor step” I suggest smashing and mincing the garlic and make sure the onions and garlic are softened and cooked well.

Why don’t you practice some mindful coziness today! A steamy bowl of soup, hot cuppa tea, wrap up in a plush blanket in your flannel PJs and a gripping novel.

What else can you do to create some mindful coziness?

Enjoy!  Happy Cooking! Share any of your variations. Leave comments below.

Cheers to Mindful Coziness!!

Amelia Andaleon

Yoga Hike – Saturday Nov. 6, 2022

A few spots are left for the next Yoga Hike with me in the East Bay! Limited space for these special outings to connect with body, mind, nature, and community. Details and online registration here.

These pics were from the October Yoga Hike on a crisp fall day after a steep hike to a sweet yoga platform. These outings are roughly 3-3.5 hours roundtrip including the hike, yoga, BYO breakfast, and more exploring the trails, views, flora, and fauna. To quote one regular Yoga Hike student when she reflected on her typical Saturday mornings sleeping in: “I feel invigorated and so accomplished and it’s not even noon! Let me know when you do the next one…I’m in!”


I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

-Frank Lloyd Wright

15 minute Yoga to Wake Up and Feel Good!

Sometimes a short morning stretch is just what the body and mind needs to wake up and start your day with intention and gratitude. My latest audio recording lets you mindfully move right from the comfort of your bed or on your yoga mat.

Enjoy this 15 minute Good Morning Gratitude Yoga on my podcast or in the Insight Timer app.

This practice includes mindful breathing, attention on gently stretching the back and whole body including the ankles, feet, and toes. This is a yoga for beginners sequence, or anyone wanting to move the body slowly and gently. Give it a try! It might become part of your daily routine to start your day feeling grateful for your body, mind, and your life.

Listen here:

For something a bit more active, here’s a 15 minute Vinyasa Sequence:

  • Child’s Pose – 5 breaths
  • Downward Dog – 5 breaths
  • 3 Sun Salutation As
  • Crescent Warrior – 5 breaths each side
  • Tree Pose – 5 breaths each side
  • Downward Dog
  • Half pigeon pose – 5 breaths each side
  • Seated forward fold – 5 breaths each leg
  • Lay down and hug your knees into your chest
  • Supine twist – 5 breaths each side
  • Savasana or seated meditation in Sukhasana (easy pose) – 3-5 minutes (set your timer)

Let me know how these short yoga sequences work for you! Leave me feedback in the comments below or in a review on my podcast or Insight Timer. Thank you!

Thank yourself for nurturing yourself with some yoga today. Namaste.

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

Part Two: Struggling On My Yoga Mat With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Click here to listen to this story on my podcast

Read this first: Part One: How Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Led Me To Yoga

After Dr. Moira Fitzpatrick prescribed “Yoga” on her prescription pad, I trusted and obeyed her suggestion, and found myself silently struggling, muttering, and swearing in my first yoga class at Urban Yoga Spa in downtown Seattle. I didn’t know what dogs, camels, or eagles were; upward, downward, sideways, twisted, I felt uncoordinated and lost.

My teacher, “Gordy” looked and sounded like a rock star, resembling Huey Lewis, with a soft direct gaze, and a voice so smooth and sexy it was on the verge of inappropriate for a public yoga class. Before I even got to my mat, I was failing at focusing in yoga, and the more he talked about calming the monkey mind, the more I got distracted by his velvety voice and good looks that my naughty monkey mind could barely pay attention to this thing called yoga.

Everything about the yoga was going wrong. First, it was a frickin’ hot room, like almost 100 degrees, and I started to feel irritated, like the time I went on a business trip to New Orleans with my boyfriend and I gave him the evil eye if he even thought of touching me. Rockstar Gordy suggested we stay in the heat, to cultivate something. Isn’t cultivating something you do in the dirt, like gardening or at a farm? This yoga jargon was killing me!

I hadn’t even started any poses and I was drenched in sweat. And, I was in a room with 70 other students who looked like sculpted dancers, ripped gymnasts, and cirque du soleil performers.

Dr. Moira, how the hell was this supposed to help me feel better about myself when all I felt was inadequate, clumsy, stupid, and lost?

Hottie Gordy welcomed the class and rattled off something philosophical, quoting Bruce Springsteen:

“Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.”

— Bruce Springsteen

At that moment, I wasn’t finding the humor in my overheated state of body and mind.

SOMEDAY WE’LL LOOK BACK ON THIS AND IT WILL ALL SEEM FUNNY.

In a moment of discomfort or pain it can seem really hard to believe it will be funny someday down the road. and here I am now, remembering myself over twenty years ago, able to laugh at how ridiculously challenging my first yoga classes were for me.

When I took my first pose, child’s pose, with my ass high in the air, my buttocks nowhere close to resting near my heels, with everyone else looking so peaceful, comfortable and relaxed, I felt totally exposed and vulnerable.

How was I failing right from the start, in what looked like an easy pose?

Who in the hell thought to start a yoga class, which is supposedly a prescription to relieve stress and anxiety, in a totally embarrassing pose with your ass in the air? I kept thinking: “Why can’t I get my butt down to my heels?”, “God, I hope I don’t fart”, “Why is this so hard for me?”

That was just pose number one. Yup, I had a masterful monkey mind.

THE STRUGGLE TO BREATHE…AGAIN.

Here I was again, struggling to breathe, and this Huey Lewis doppelganger had the nerve to keep repeating “Just Breathe.” Do you know how demeaning that suggestion is, using the word “just” in front of an activity that is already challenging? Let me tell you, until I started yoga, I really did not know how much I sucked at breathing. I knew my CFS affected my breathing, but, until this yoga class, I didn’t know it was because I was doing it wrong. Besides swatting my ass at birth to force my lungs to “BREATHE, BABY, BREATHE!”, there is no one in my life, no parents, no teachers, who gave me breathing lessons. And, now Master Yogi Gordy was telling me to “just” breathe, like it was the most natural most easeful thing my body could enjoy.

Like a perfect new yoga student, my comparison game was STRONG. I searched the room, observed all the other freely breathing bodies, while my lungs felt like iron, my breathing shallow, and the more Annoying Gordy coaxed us to breathe, I hyperventilated and felt the room spin.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT BATHROOMS?

I eyed the exit door and planned my escape. Less than fifteen minutes into the class, I bailed. I could have left in silence but, for some reason I lied and quietly announced I had to go to the bathroom, to a room of strangers, and looked straight into my first yoga teacher’s soft gaze, framed with his thick, wavy Jim Morrison hair.

I…straight…up…lied.

When I left that hot, humid prison, I gulped a huge breath of air, like being rescued from a drowning, at least what I imagined felt like that desperate first breath after not being able to breathe.

I hid in the bathroom, splashed cold water on my face, behind my neck, under my armpits, and sat on the toilet, with the lid closed, and cried with my head in my hands. I sweat so much I didn’t have to pee. I lied. I didn’t have to “go” to the bathroom. I just wanted to run away.

I didn’t know this was part of yoga too, facing myself off the yoga mat. At the time, all I felt was consumed in my inadequacy, humiliation, and embarrassment. I wasn’t aware about awareness yet, to notice I was in my habitual pattern of pressing the eject button.

One thing about me, which I discovered has been both a strength and a detriment to my health, is that I’m stubborn and, I don’t like to fail. After my Eat, Pray, Love session in the bathroom, I resuscitated myself enough to step back into that steamy class of torture.

I mustered up a pep talk: “If I don’t finish this class, I won’t know if there was something to this yoga prescription Dr. Moira just gave me.”

FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED

I walked back into Sergeant Gordy leading fast-paced warriors, crows, eagles, wheels and pigeons. I faced the wrong way, took lots of breaks in my ass-high-in-the-air version of child’s pose most of the class, because Compassionate Gordy said we could “take child’s pose or down dog whenever you need a break.” It wasn’t EXACTLY a break or relaxing in my body but, at least compared to all the other crazy contortionist poses, child’s pose felt doable. Pigeon looked promising, and peaceful, in other people’s bodies, but, for me hips, it was painful pigeon. This yoga class was turning out to be one cruel form of self-inflicted pain, pose after pose.

But, how is it that all of the other students looked like they were actually enjoying it? What did they know that I didn’t know?

I was determined to make it to the end, even if my 90 minutes was mostly a combination of high-ass-child’s-pose and running away to the bathroom…once. No judgment. I only ran away once.

Note to teachers: Downward dog is NOT a relaxing, restful pose…for beginners, especially for women or anyone who has not yet developed upper body strength. I TRIED to rest in downward dog when Teacher Gordy suggested it, and all I thought was “Fuck..You!” Sorry for all the swearing, just keeping it real. As a yoga teacher now, I vow never to say “Rest in downward dog.” Seriously, REST in downward dog???? That can be a recipe for scaring away a brand new student. It’s a fucking hard pose making your arms, legs, and whole body shake…and if you’re like me, it can make you swear more than you ever have in your life, especially when those five breaths in down dog feel like an eternity! And, spoiler alert: downward facing dog, adho mukha svanasana, DID made me stronger than I thought was possible, especially when I thought I was doomed to a life of feeling weak and tired. Is it an amazing full body pose? Yes. Encouraging, relaxing, restful pose for new students or someone struggling with CFS? Hells…to the no.

YOGA IS WEIRD

DEFINITION – Weird: mysteriously strange or fantastic.

Without describing my complete sense of disorientation in every single pose, like an untrained dancer stumbling to learn new choreography in a Broadway audition, overall I really sucked in my first yoga class. Not only was I exhausted, you know, from my CFS, but, I stepped into a Power Vinyasa class, not a beginner’s gentle yoga class, but, a Hot Baptiste Power Vinyasa class which totally…kicked…my…ass.

Then, something mysteriously strange and fantastic happened: savasana. Ten minutes to lay on my back and be as still as possible and do absolutely NOTHING. Now we were talking about RELAXATION. The beauty of the sweat and laying on my back was that the tears streaming down my face all blended in, plus everyone’s eyes were supposedly closed. No one was watching me anyway, and honestly, I was just too tired to care. Something was spilling out of me and I didn’t know what it was. I was spent. I was emptied out. Whatever monkey thoughts or worries I had, I was just too tired to do anything but lay there and cry.

And, God, I felt amazing at the end of that class. As we all rolled up our mats, and avoided slipping on the puddles around the room, my first power vinyasa yoga teacher, Gordon Ferguson, stood at that open door, to freedom and fresh air, high-fiving all 70 students, telling them “Good job!”, calling each one by name. With his kind puppy dog eyes, palm to palm, he smiled: “Great job, Amelia! See you tomorrow?” I nodded yes, dumbfounded he remembered my name too.

That was the beginning of falling in love with yoga, which had me swearing, crying, lying, and smiling in bliss all within the same class. And, the first time I experienced firsthand, that sometimes you need to really suck before you can shine.


Stay tuned for Part Three

Part One: How Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Led Me To Yoga

Click here to listen to this story on my podcast.

20 years ago there’s no way in hell I would have considered a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) a blessing. I was struggling. Struggling to breathe. Struggling to work. Struggling to play. Struggling to socialize. Struggling to walk. Struggling to talk. Struggling to get pregnant. Struggling to want to be seen in public. Struggling to want to stay alive.

Today, as I reflect on how I felt over 20 years ago, I have so much compassion for my struggling, exhausted self, who was frustrated by an unknown cause of my constant breathlessness, lack of energy, and persistent tender lymph nodes on the sides of my neck. I felt half-alive and 100% frustrated by no one seeming to know why they hell I FUCKING…FELT…LIKE…CRAP.

My journey with CFS is a long one, spanning several decades, so I’ll share my story one course at a time. And, why share now? I’ve been recording my Spiritually Fit Yoga podcast for over a year, and while I’ve shared transformational stories about my guests, I’ve never shared my own personal story about living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Several students and listeners have asked “I’d love to hear more about your CFS story.” In honor of my 100th podcast episode (wow!) and for those of you wanting to hear more about my transformational journey, this is for you.

So, here’s Part One: the beginning of feeling like crap, and the beginning of my yoga journey.

THE STRUGGLE TO BREATHE.

A little health history background about myself: I was born in 1964, a month premature, a c-section, formula-fed baby, healthy and strong. As a kid I rarely got sick, I didn’t even take aspirin, I don’t ever remember getting the flu shot, I had a few infections requiring antibiotics, I slept like a champ, annoyed friends with my hyper non-caffeinated morning energy, I was a petite 5’1 athlete who ran half-marathons just for fun and once squatted 250 pounds. Having myopia with astigmatism was really my only physical ailment.

Then there was the time I was a fresh 30 year-old, nearing the end of my year-long solo backpacking trip around the world, when with one step I all of the sudden couldn’t breathe.

Before that breathless moment in New Zealand, I had been climbing peaks in the Italian Dolomites, Austrian Alps, Swiss Alps, Auguille du Midi in Chamonix, France, and a 21-day trek to Annapurna in Nepal. I was in my eighth month of backpacking when I wrapped up my year in New Zealand enjoying a glorious three months of tramping until my travel visa ran out.

A few weeks into my New Zealand explorations, I booked a trip with New Zealand Adventure Safaris since they led off-the-beaten-track excursions. I was still backpacking solo and discovering the less-travelled paths always appealed to me. Because of my backpacking experience, my apparently impressive vegetarian stir-fry on a snowy mountaintop, and my availability, I was offered a job to join additional excursions in exchange for preparing meals and helping carry gear. In my opinion, it was a plush job and I scored with having free transportation, lodging, food, and hanging out with super fun and cute guides taking me to breathtaking, non-touristy sites, which to this day are in my top ten places I’ve ever visited in my life.

On what turned out to be my fifth and last excursion as an assistant guide, I was completely taken aback when hiking uphill, wearing a moderately heavy backpack (I was capable of carrying a much heavier pack), I felt short of breath. I found a log, took a seat, and told the guides and group I’d catch up. I had zero thought or concern about my health. My health history made me think I was invincible. I was maybe two miles from the top, and I struggled to breathe, starting and stopping for over TWO hours. The rest of the crew, including the slowest, oldest guests, took 30-60 minutes to reach the campsite.

Ian, one of the head guides and a good friend after months of backpacking and guiding together, hiked down to find me, surprised at my turtle pace. He believed me when I told him I’d be fine and catch up on my own. When I took so long he assumed I was probably taking photos again with my beloved Pentax SLR camera. He was shocked when he saw my slumped shoulders and short stride. My legs felt like lead. He regretted leaving me alone so long and I told him “I’m fine.” Back then, I really believed that. Now, I know, I wasn’t fine.

He took my pack which helped my breathing but, I still had to sit or lean against a tree or boulder after almost every five labored steps. I already had food and water. Ian ran back to camp to the get the first aid kit and brought me an inhaler. I puffed a few times, nothing. Just the jittery feeling from the albuterol. Good thought, but, I could still only take baby steps up that mountain. I kept thinking “I’m in the best shape of my life. I just backpacked in the Alps and Nepal, why the hell can’t I hike up this baby hill?” I got my first and only ever piggy-back ride up a mountain. I only had half a mile to go but, at my snail’s pace we knew I should get to camp to rest and arrive before dark.

Side note: I’ve lost track of my New Zealand friends and nothing came up when I googled their guiding service. Whereever you are, “Thank you, Ian.”

I made it to camp without alarming any of the guests. Only the guides were aware of my fatigue. I hydrated, snacked, took a rest, and felt well enough to make my last group dinner, and then last breakfast for New Zealand Adventure Safaris. In one trip I went from being an asset to a liability.

FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER.

After I finally returned home to the United States I felt better, even back to my energizer-bunny, peak-bagging self. At a routine physical I mentioned what happened in New Zealand and my doc wanted to test me for parasites, giardia, etc. The only thing that might have explained my shortness of breath was my low iron levels. I wasn’t anemic but, I was iron-deficient.

The fatigue came and went, then it started to stick around longer. At age 30, that was the beginning of feeling like I was living at the doctor’s office, getting poked, probed, tested, and feeling like doctors thought I was crazy because all of my results kept coming back normal. I would keep telling them: “But, something feels off, I am NOT a hypochondriac, I’ve never been sick all my life, and I just feel weird.” And that’s really how I felt, and the only way I could explain it, was “off” and “weird”, because my physical sensations didn’t fit any vocabulary in my frame of reference. “Tired” and “sick” didn’t fit the bill to describe what I was going through.

From typically seeing a doctor once a year to monthly visits, my life shifted from feeling invincible to feeling broken. I didn’t know who I was anymore, when I couldn’t physically do what I love, and I barely had the energy to socialize because focusing my thoughts or maintaining eye contact was such a huge energy drain.

My friendships were suffering because I was no longer feeding my relationships, and I was too embarrassed to share how I felt or to ask for help. I inherited the belief that sickness is a weakness, and weakness is a weakness, and I felt both sick and weak.

The earlier version of me who never drank coffee and annoyed my friends with my morning peppiness, was nowhere to be found. I discovered caffeine, and it was an evil curse because it 1) didn’t give me energy during the day and 2) it kept me awake at night.

I felt like my operating system was malfunctioning, and yet, somehow I fake-functioned, and got really good at saving my energy to wear masks resembling my old self, then make up excuses to skip socializing, to be alone and ashamed at home in my mysterious state of fatigue.

I was a highly-functional fatigued faker. On good days, I’d make appearances, on bad days I’d hide. This type of coping explains why people are so shocked when they find out someone has been sick or depressed or [fill in the blank], because some of us can be so good at only showing up when we’re fit for public consumption.

Note to self: If you haven’t heard from someone in awhile, check in on them. They might be struggling. If they say they’re “fine”, and your intuition senses otherwise, that might be a red flag. Invite yourself over with soup, ice cream, and a funny card. Insist you keep them company. Stay long enough to let them know you see them, care about them, even if they feel like they’re broken and falling apart, because we all feel like that sometimes. Book your next date with them in your calendar before you leave. The strongest, most independent people are sometimes the most isolated and lonely and, they often won’t ask for support.

YOGA AS A PRESCRIPTION.

This story takes a huge leap, 7 years later, to spare you all the medical tests and findings over the years, because those frustrating years of testing were mostly non-conclusive anyway. If I ever write a novel, I may share those details, but, for now, I’m ready to fast-forward to the yoga.

When I switched from seeing physicians to my naturopath, Dr. Moira Fitzpatrick from Bastyr University, I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel. Instead of more blood tests she asked me lots of questions and had me pee in a big plastic jug at home for a week to send out for comprehensive hormone panels. She muscle-tested me, she had me look at a box with different colored lights, she prescribed vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. She led me through my first cord-cutting meditation.

She handed me a prescription slip, and all it said was YOGA.

I started feeling better. I started sleeping again. I started smiling and hiking again. I eventually got pregnant. Dr. Moira Fitzpatrick took me down a non-conventional, holistic path to healing, and on a health and wellness journey I never imagined would become a cornerstone to becoming a yoga teacher and healer myself.


Part Two: Struggling On My Yoga Mat With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Women’s Empowerment & Healing Retreat Saturday 9/25/21 – Danville, CA

Limited space for this special Women’s Empowerment and Healing Retreat held outdoors under majestic redwood trees! Book here! (Sold out! Please email me if you’re interested in being added to the waitlist or receiving notifications about pre-sales for the next event, please email me here.)

September 25th 10am-3pm

Private outdoor location – Danville, CA (address will be sent to attendees)

Women’s Empowerment & Healing Retreat 

* Power Vinyasa (all-levels)

* Self-inquiry/journaling

* BYO lunch

* Organic green juice provided!

* Lunch Guest speaker Deb Wright, Crystals + Healing (includes a crystal for you to take home!)

* Yin + Yoga Nidra + Essential oils (includes a custom blended essential oil bottle to take home!)

* Meditation + tea + chocolate 😊

* Integrate and Wrap-up

I am so excited to offer another backyard women’s retreat! Take time for self-care and gather together in nature with the divine feminine power of women during this empowering, healing event. 🙏🏽💓

To book your spot, click here!


EARLY BIRD SPOTS STILL AVAILABLE UNTIL AUGUST 31st!

  • Please text/call me at 360-808-0074 to inquire if spots are still left. If so, venmo $65 to @Amelia-Andaleon. This will secure your spot with the earlybird special. Retail price is $75.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

“I absolutely love Amelia’s workshops, mostly because she is an authentic human who balances being intentional and serious, with humor and fun! She is a wonderful yoga instructor, and more than this, a spiritual guide.”

“Amelia is gifted. Her knowledge & authenticity shine through in her classes. One of my favorite yoga teachers!”

“Amelia’s offerings are full of insights that makes me think and reflect. She lives by example, and her authenticity inspires me to embrace living in my own truth, imperfections and all. All these, and she also makes the journey a fun ride!”

“I rarely review anyone, but taking yoga from Amelia is truly something special. I literally follow her around to different studios just to take a class from her! I continue to grow in my practice with her and usually feel like I’ve gotten a good sweaty workout in once I finish her class. I’m starting to do poses I never thought I’d do! Even more, she provides a sense of warmth, openness, comfort and connectivity that is just rare. I couldn’t recommend Amelia more highly!!!!”


With gratitude and humility, I am honored to be of service and offer yoga, meditation, healing, mentoring, and empowerment coaching.

Blessings and smiles,

Amelia Diaz Andaleon