what’s next…

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde


lately i’ve been wondering “what is next?”

it seems like this question has taken over my meditation time as well as it has become my most common thought as i wash dishes, load the laundry, or am driving. it seems to be almost a riddle or something i can’t quite put my finger on. what is this next thing that is on my mind?

i have let myself mull this question over and over, what am i really asking?

i know that the yoga world is in a shift towards mindfulness, towards a slower practice. more meditation and less, well, less forcing. less pounding of the flesh, less whipping the body into “shape”. sure, there is always going to be handstands and bikinis and yes, for some people it is and always will be just a workout. for the rest of us though, yoga is changing. ok, yoga isn’t changing, because yoga has always been about mindfulness and meditation and a sense of presence. we as practitioners, as teachers, as students are changing the way we practice yoga. and i have to say, i’m excited!! but is this what my question really is about? i’m having a hard time saying “yes, problem solved. moving on!” sure the way we view yoga is changing and yes, the slower/more meditative practices are taking a push forward. what’s next for yoga is it will remain the same while our depth and understanding of it changes. what’s next with yoga is that we as students are starting to live it more, to not necessarily keep it in the confines of the studio. we use the studio for our connection to our communities, but not to our source. source is always with us and yoga is reminding us softly stay in that connection.

so then, i am left with the question as a self-inquiry, what is next? perhaps that is the hardest to answer. as a yoga teacher and a mama, there are only so many classes i can teach. so many workshops, so many retreats (which i am still working on). i’ve co-written a beautiful book and we are working on the next one, is this enough? if this post is feeling to woo-woo for you, i’m sorry. life as a yoga teacher is one that constantly brings these questions to the surface. our roles as teachers rely solely on students to teach, on being connected enough to our communities and selves to teach what is in our hearts and share what we love about yoga and know to be true about practicing this beautiful tool. but there is a misconception that if we somehow just “work hard enough” that we can become “the next”. the next shiva rea, the next rachel brathen, the next big yoga teacher. here’s the thing, i don’t want to be the NEXT big thing. i want to be a space holder for you, i want to hold the space for YOU to find yoga, to find yourself. i want to hold space for you, so that you can learn how to do it for yourself. whoa, right?!?

what is next?

well, what’s next for me is writing another book with Nancy. what’s next for me is still holding space in my classes here is Austin. what’s next for me is exploring how best to let others discover what practice means to them. what’s next is that it is time. time to be me. to be mama and teacher. to know that there is no separation. not from mom liz or yoga liz or author liz or liz liz. there’s no separation between you and i. we are both having human experiences, our differences are small compared to our similarities. let’s hear each others stories. and let’s let go of the stories that hold us back.

i may not be exactly clear on how or even what (ok, i mean like what the what looks like or the steps of the what) “next” is, but i know this. times are changing. yoga is shifting some. and so am i!


Check yourself…

“Chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self
Yeah, come on and check yo self before you wreck yo self. Cause shotgun bullets are bad for your health”~ ice cube 

Morning slow & coffee

There is a lot of  talk of morning sadhana lately in our sweet yoga community, but do we really know what it is and why we should?

sadhana is a daily spiritual practice, it could be meditation, prayer, asana, reading of a spiritual book, writing morning pages/journaling, or any other practice you deem spiritual. yes, I said it, any practice YOU find spiritual! so perhaps early morning gardening or morning time over a cup of coffee/tea is where you find sacred connection, then why not make it a habit to start your day. Making time for your connection to self, the universe, God is just as important as washing the dishes or taking a shower. 

how will you nourish your soul and find bliss today?


making it happen

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”
― Steve Maraboli


oh friends, i am riding on a wave of awesome lately. some times i forget how wonderful it is when you manifest, when you ask for what you want, and then you receive. life has been a wild ride as you may know reader. from our chaos and coffee summer, a book has been produced and now, NOW i’m going to be teaching at the Texas Yoga Conference in February 2017. i have the pleasure of teaching “the living practice” which will encompass the 8 limbs of yoga and how we can live them in our modern every day lives.  it is a dream for me to really get to share my passion with y’all!! and sunday morning we will come hOMe with some yin practices and yoga nidra all in an effort to connect to our hearts and souls.

truthfully, i applied for the conference because i needed to get out of my comfort zone, i wanted to see what would happen if i put myself out there, like really out into the world. we can only hide our light for so long before they either light the world on fire or go out, that is what candles do. so i set mine to blaze. and as a good friend of mine always says “blaze on bitches!’ i refuse to let my gift be snuffed our, just like you should, so i went for it. this has been a year for that. for going forward. for paving a new path. for honoring my gifts. who knew sipping coffee, being mama, and practicing yoga would all collide into this beautiful mess i call life.

if you are in texas or were thinking about heading to TYC, please consider coming to take class with me. it would be fabulous to meet you, to hug ya, to share yoga with you. let’s do it… what are you going to go forward on?



back to basics

“The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward. […] The trees overhead made a great sound of letting down their dry rain.”
― Ray Bradbury


fall always feels like a fresh start.

a chance to reset.

and fall even asks that we do this, it is the only season that asks, maybe even demands that we slow down. spring invites us out of our winter cocoon by bringing us warm days, knowing that we will. summer encourages the bare minimum of clothing and gives us the space to find any reprieve from the heat. fall just says i’m going to ask you to let go, i’ll show you how. see the leaves. they drop what is dead. see the days are becoming shorter? they remind us to find the comforts of home. fall says come home, make it your sanctuary. look inside of yourself and make that home too.

as we embrace the days of fall, there is some back to basics we must remember. why must we embrace fall and the basics? well, because we humans respond to nature. we are bound by it, no matter how much we deny it or remove ourselves from the nature cycles, we are nature driven. so let’s just accept that when fall comes, we come back to basics.

to prepare us for the cold months, we make our homes a sanctuary. a place to “be in” and rest. so on those cool fall nights, we create our homes to comfort us and nurture us like a little nest.

we take time to cook, to bake, to take comfort in foods that feed the soul not just keep the body warm.

we start the slowing down. it’s tough my friends, i know. yet, if we stop the glorification of busy and of multitasking, we can not only accomplish more, but we can be really aware of what it is we are doing. and then take some time for the art of doing nothing.

fall asks that we do just that. nothing. maybe nothing looks like enjoying a cup of hot apple cider or watching the leaves fall. nothing could just be lounging under a blanket on the sofa and taking in the morning. or a warm bath in the evening. these all sounds like something, but stillness often is hard at first, so these slow steps towards nothing help remind us to practice this lost art.

lastly, fall reminds us to take in some beauty. to find the wonder of the changes in season. to appreciate mother nature and all her grace. because as mother nature sheds off summer, she is quite beautiful.

fall is here. and it is asking you to get basic. to make space for yourself to reflect, to shed, and to prepare for the cool months that drive us all inside (homes and you know hOMe) to hide from the weather. fall shows us, reminds us the importance of shedding what we no longer need, of embracing ourselves. so let’s fall in love with fall. not just the long pants and sweaters, but the comfort of self. not just the pumpkin spiced lattes, but the dropping of shit that no longer serves. not just the halloween decorations, but the connection to our ancestry and to who we are. because that is really what fall is, the chance to connect. connect with ourselves.



Taking a step back

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. ~Anne Lamott

All my friends think I’m crazy. Since hitting publish on the book last week, all I can think about is taking a social media break. With election craziness being spread like wildfire and a constant flood of “look at me” comparison photos, I am pretty much done. And while that is great, my friends all keep telling me that I have to keep “sharing the book”. That just because it is out, the work doesn’t stop there, now I have to sell it.

Truth be told, I made the book for me. My part has always been for me. To hold my own advice in my hands and say “yes, this is exactly what I need to take care of myself.” Everything else is icing on the cake! I’m still getting cake😉

The urge to step back is not new. There are many studies saying that we are training our brains hardwiring when we use our smart phones. We literally aren’t connecting with people any more, but connecting digitally. WTF?  I don’t want that. I definitely don’t want to be”trained” by the ding of my phone or miss chats with friends because I need to “check in”. Or go down the rabbit hole of political nonsense (which there is plenty on either side). There is too much to miss when we are constantly looking down.

So I am starting small (mostly because Nancy and I are doing a book giveaway this week on IG!!! Be sure to look for it!), Facebook is off the phone. I’ll still share pics if the boys, but I’m stepping away from the news. I can’t hang. I’m limiting the IG posts. Just because some moments are better enjoyed.   I have some blog posts scheduled and I’ll still be checking email in the AM and PM. Mostly, I will get back to the yoga of life. That living breathing practice and discovering what is next on the “list”. What new adventure and else i am ready to share.

How do you cope and find balance between life and online?


        I got to hold my book at Bug’s BFFs house!! So beautiful!


Hey y’all!

“oh my” seems to be my go to phrase these days, from how fast the boys are growing to how quickly life seems to be moving to finishing up my first book, all i can seem to utter is “oh my”.



all rights reserved (c) cover image by Nancy Alder 2016, the living mala (c) nancy alder + Liz Vartanian



i can’t believe it is done! part of finishing the book though was writing some acknowledgements to all those who have supported this process, people who have supported me as well as nancy, and it really got me thinking how little we acknowledge those people in our lives that are there for us. people that lift us up by sending little notes of encouragement or buy our book in order to support those we care about! i feel so blessed to be not only surrounded by amazing people who inspire me, but also people who help lift others up!

today, i got to create an author page on Amazon, like whoa! i still can’t believe how wonderful this world is that we can create, write, paint, take photographs, and truly express ourselves in this world however seems fit. i’m proud of us all for creating, i acknowledge y’all for creating even if it’s just on your journals or doodles on napkins. i acknowledge y’all for living and breathing and living the practices that are right for you.

i hope y’all have a great monday, i certainly am.






sigh, what to say

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
― Marilyn Monroe

img_0200oh me, oh my.

the heavens are messing with me these day! from the push to finish the book to having two sick boys, this week is looking like the last few before it.

and that is ok, i’m learning how to roll with the punches. life lessons are always there and instead of fighting it, i am just over here breathing.  sipping on my coffee and practicing yoga. i have even committed to taking a yoga class once or twice a week, just to reconnect without having to hold space for myself (which is really nice!) and let someone else be in charge. friends, i remember why i love going to classes. something that really stuck with me (again, i love going to classes, i hope y’all get these little gems from when i teach too) was what lauren janes started class with: being a part of divine law. yamas and niyamas are not just guidelines, they are divine law. they are the contract we sign when we come into life and that when we break these tenants we are out of the circle with god/universe. we are out of sync.

we all have broken one of these tenants: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-coveting, not hoarding (yamas), cleanliness, contentment, structure, self study, surrendering to higher power (niyamas). yea, we ALL have broken these, but starting today, we have the chance to step back in. to practice yoga. to know peace. to know love. to live yoga. y’all, sometimes we need these reminders, because you know what? it is easy to forget these parts of yoga when we are in “it”: the parenting, the working, the living. but that is when we need to remember that we are all part of the divine, it’s all yoga.