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rachel dahl a la modest yoga balmain black gold vintage christian rachel dahl a la modest yoga balmain black gold vintage christian a la modest rachel dahl vintage yoga christian

My back was turned in all but one of these photos, because the shoulders and the backbone of this top are where the fun is! I was wearing an orange Nike tank underneath straight out of the gym, and that is what you see shining through the see through spine. If I had worn a multicolor tank top underneath this, it would’ve been a perfect chakra representation! This lovely ribbed long sleeved top is from Sammydress. Doesn’t its texture kind of remind you of a toned down Balmain?

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Being open to spirituality is something to be celebrated. Believing in something is better than believing in nothing at all.

Yogis believe that there is a spirit realm, including a creator called Brahma. Similarly, Christians believe in spirits and a Creator as well. However, Christians also believe that the devil and his demons know that there is a God and a spirit realm as well and that any spirit other than an angel is a demon, because according to the Bible, humans go directly to either heaven or hell (Hebrews 9:27). Because of this, many Christians turn their backs on yoga and write everything off about it as demonic, because it is a spiritual practice but not Christian.

However, yogis seem to display “fruits” that are good, loving, kind, peaceful, and self controlled at all times, which is what the Bible teaches Christians to be like (Galatians 5:22). Many of them treat others more highly than or as highly as themselves, believe in non violence, non lying and non stealing, simplicity and generosity, avoidance of lust and displaying purity, and encouraging general positivity, according to yoga’s Eightfold Path. Yogis presence and practice do not display obvious outward signs of evil.

Though the Bible in 2 Corinth 11:14-15 warns Christians not to be deceived by demons, who in their power can pose as “angels of light” and “servants of righteousness,” we do not need to worship these spirits as traditional Hindi yogis worship their gods. We stay true to our own faith.

We must all recognize however our similarities but also understand our differences—which brings me to my next point.

Emphasizing loving others despite differences is a better example of your faith than condemnation

A very young child in  my family passed by a church unlike her own and proclaimed disgust by saying something like “eew.” Members of her family were tickled by her reaction enough to share it with others including me. I was appalled but mostly by the adults’ response to this. How could we be teaching and encouraging our children to hate others? It is okay to express differences, but it is never okay to look down on others and their practices (which are often linked to their culture and upbringing), and never loving to show your superiority by mocking them. It is not on Christ’s mandate or any other spiritual leaders’ advice to mock others.

Not that you’re supposed to water down your own belief, hide it, or change it, but yoga has taught me to be kind to anyone, regardless of background. People of the same faith naturally tend to alienate others who are outside their circle, and this is just not what Christ or any other faith leader would do.

Yoga has given me an opportunity to converse with and learn from others, humbling myself to the realization that my own feelings might’ve been shaping details of my faith that are not of the spirit.

Encourage me to accept my own body and think beyond it, even as I use my body for exercise.

Through yoga, I’ve learned to accept my own body more rather than change it, and changing our bodies is what most exercises push us to do. However the great reward of this acceptance, this self love through yoga postures and movements, asanas and vinyasas, somehow results in the most amazing physique and sensation my body has ever had. It is truly ironic! It could only be mind over matter, and the power of the mind can change your physical limitations. Simply amazing. I’ve never felt and looked better in my entire life.

Treat my body more like a temple of the spirit

This “exercise,” this lifestyle is what I’ve come to embrace yoga as has made me more self controlled. It has made me more disciplined—needing less sleep and food with this new burst of energy, and needing less material possessions, and wanting no junk food or harsh chemicals to enter my body. The Christian church has taught none of this if barely.

How are Christians supposed to give themselves to the Lord if they are consuming addictive substances such as sugar and gluten on a daily basis? The body is literally a temple of the Holy Spirit according to 1 Corinth 6:19-20, which yoga constantly reminds us of. I do not mean to make anyone feel bad, but I wish to share how we’ve been poisoned by commerce to  think that dessert and modern day wheat are okay. Bread during the ancient times was totally biochemically different, and we as children of progress have destroyed that. Perhaps the Christian church should change communion to have something other than today’s wheat.

Solidified my belief in the spirit world and its connection with the physical

Whether sadly or not, practicing yoga has made the spirit world come alive to me again. It’s easy to get stagnant and complacent with the Christian faith at times. We go to church every Sunday, go to at least one Bible study a week, give and receive the same popular scriptures out of context to make yourself or others feel good about themselves, listen to unpalatable CCM (Christian Contemporary Music), and get condemned if you do anything that gives the appearance of evil like read Harry Potter or wear a natural crystal around your neck, etc. Sure, it’s best not to partake in something that clearly looks bad, like having a teacher of the opposite gender hang out with a teenager after school hours.

Crystals were formed by God, came straight from the earth, and do geologically, like all things give off resonance and vibration like humans do. That’s not mumbo jumbo or witch craft. That’s a fact. Whether or not crystals heal or change moods is up to you—that’s partly having faith. The same thing goes for “grounding” or “earthing,” which some Christians have also condemned as a sort of new age practice. This earth was formed and belongs to God, thank you. I will be sitting on it, sleeping on it, and walking barefoot on it, as long as I live on this earth. The land beneath your feet (or hands or head if you’re doing inversions!) scientifically gives off electrons, so if the word “magic” scares you, you can just think of this as electrons. Our bodies need this charge naturally from the earth, that we get so little of now because of modern day living, because of rubber soled shoes for instance.

The connection I’ve drawn between the physical and spiritual from yoga has a lot to do with continually treating my body with care by food and the right kind of exercise our bodies can handle with little complication. Marathons and doing typical cardio exercises for an hour or so are not kind to the body, and a lot of professionals in the scientific field are starting to realize and warn us of that.

This proper maintenance of the body in turn strengthens the mind, upholds the spirit. Part of yoga’s goal is to be able to control the body through awareness in order for the body to be open spiritually. Most of Western yoga has diminished the second part of that equation, which for a Christian is probably the safest thing to do. However, I believe that in order to truly serve our God we must purify the body of its physical addictions from bad food and lifestyles, because these can control your minds and habits. If we are not willing to let go of our wheat based cupcakes at least for a day, then these have become your god. Same goes for the love of money and anything else that you cannot let go of (1 Timothy 6:10). Yoga seems to be of help in these areas through discipline.

There is no end to learning

Being immersed in yoga as both a student and a teacher in its Western derivation has made me want to learn more—not only about asanas but about my own body, how to treat others, the earth, and my awareness of the spirit realm. When I am grounding on the field upside down and with the sun on my face, I think “God, I feel your presence in me and on this earth. Thank you for your creation.”

 

I may have gone to school for IT and have made websites and computer graphics since I was 11 years old, but believe it or not, I am pretty low tech gadget-wise. I don’t really care much for them. The irony!

Let’s label the techy people shall we? There’s the code nerd, video game geek, web guru, social network savvy… and then there’s Mr. (or Ms.) Gadget. So from above, I’d be more in the web guru category. How about you? Do neat gadgets fascinate you and drive you to own the latest and greatest technology?

I for one do not have the slightest interest in hardware or upgrading it. That’s why my gadgets, though dressed up in some stylish way, are falling apart.  Software people like myself seem to be wired differently (pun intended!). I do not care about new phones, new tablets, new cars, but I like to entertain people who do like to talk about their new toys. It’s a good way to practice patience!

The Mr. Gadgets in my life do not seem to handle staring at codes for too long. Not that I like staring at computer jargon, but I do have the capacity to understand and be patient with it unlike some. So I believe it’s probably because a lot of gadget geeks I know like quick and easy solutions done for them by technology, which is not a bad trait at all. After all, technology is there to serve us.

So to give you a rundown on what “gadgets” I currently own, here they are:

1. My laptop, which I am dependent on for work online, such as blogging or on Etsy

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2. My iPhone 4S. I just paid the $1 upgrade for the 8gb because I didn’t think I needed all that double space… which later I regretted, because I take a ton of photos of food, clothes, and selfies (ahem). Add me as @alamodest or @modernlifesurvivalist on Instagram I would’ve totally been on a bare bones Android phone if not for the insisting of my husband to be on Apple. My favorite phone ever was still my tiny LG flip phone that had a mirror in front of it.

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3. My camera, which was for the longest time a point-and-shoot camera that conked out on me, but now I was lent a Canon DSLR. I do not technically own this, however I use it like I own it so it’s going on this list! Below is an example of my before and after DSLR photos.

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4. My tablet. It’s a red and super cheap 8gb tablet, which I just got recently around 40 bucks! I would’ve never gotten a tablet if not for this website called www.tmart.com which I recently discovered. I knew I wanted an eBook reader to take along with me, but I also wanted to be able to do stuff for my business or review my yoga videos on the road. So, the solution was to get an affordable Tmart Tablet PC. I was a bit skeptical at first, because it was a Chinese supplier. I get my clothes and accessories from China sometimes, but the electronics I thought were a bit more risky. Anyway, I got it in the mail faster than expected from an overseas store and works just fine!

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Are you a gadget geek? What do you currently own?

 

Thank you for IFB for picking my post for this week! So who’s stuck at home once again with this snow? Yesterday though Rob and I had a chance to just lay out on top of a hill with sunshine on our faces and nothing but a light jacket on! We managed to take a nap before we had to work on errands that evening—and before it got windy and therefore cold. I want to just lay outside again and take a nap OUTDOORS on a nice, sunny day. When was the last time you’ve done that? It feels so good to just connect with the earth, sun on our skin, wind in our hair. For us folks in the east coast, we need to take time to enjoy that whenever it happens in the winter!

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Fashion Kaleidoscope

Style is made of so many pieces it’s hard to focus on just one element. The beauty is the collective whole of random bits and pieces from our lives makes for an abstract pattern. What? Ok, maybe that’s a bit philosophical, then again, so are a couple of the posts in this week’s roundup. From a close look at Emilio Pucci’s outrageous prints, to dissecting the underrepresentation of lesbians in the fashion world, and decoding childhood memories influence on design, there’s a lot to look at even more closely than whether or not an outfit works.

Links à la Mode: March 13

  1. Adorned in Armor: Lupita: A Cinderella Story
  2. A La Modest: Emilio Pucci: Kaleidoscope Patterns & Sci Fi Uniforms
  3. Al-Balsam Life: Fashion Fever Paris Fashion Week Edition
  4. A Tale of Two Shoes: Do we really read blogs?
  5. Attire Club: Les Sapeurs: The Dapper Men of The Congo
  6. Fashioned by Love: 5 Minutes with Nadia Vodianova
  7. Happy Pretty Sweet: A Brief History of Jeans
  8. Hunting in Heels: Mary Katranzou and the Death of the Digital Print
  9. Lara Lizard: 9 Blogger Pet Peeves
  10. Lollieshopping: 90′s Fashion I Don’t Miss
  11. Madame Ostrich: Let’s Hear if For the Girls: The Issue With Lesbian Underrepresentation In Fashion
  12. Miss Monet: Fashion Wearabouts at Paris Fashion Week
  13. Style Curated: Interviewing the Interviewer: Kinvara Balfour
  14. Style Vanity: 10 Tips to Get a Job in Fashion (No Matter Where You Live)
  15. Tangles & Chains: 3 Jewelry Wearing Mistakes to Avoid When Going on a Date
  16. The Sassy Girl: Splurge vs Steal: Spring 2014 Fashion
  17. The Style Lineup: 4 Easy Steps to Make Your Jewelry Fit
  18. Trend Survivor: Milan Fashion Week Decoded
  19. We Are Ready Made: W.A.R.M. is in the Mood for Childhood Memories
  20. Wild Beauty World: Marilyn Minter’s Subversive Beauty

 

rachel dahl a la modest blue velvet dress etsy rachel dahl a la modest blue velvet dress etsy rachel dahl a la modest blue velvet dress etsy rachel dahl a la modest blue velvet dress etsy rachel dahl a la modest velvet bluevintage dress etsy

I immediately thought of a torero (bullfighter in Spanish) when I saw these photos. I had the perfect gold bolero to go with it too that I didn’t wear, which would’ve matched the gold color in the scarf. I have both the vintage blue velvet dress and the vintage gold bolero up on Etsy if you’re interested! A lot of my personal wardrobe is on sale, even if it’s not up on Etsy, so don’t be afraid to ask! There’s no reason to hold on to things I can’t wear a lot anymore. I find myself buying and wearing a lot of sport tops and leggings 90% of the time now ever since fitness instructing!

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ANNOUNCING GOOD DEEDS

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Speaking of toreros, their extravagant outfits are usually very bold and are meant to proclaim who is in charge in the arena with the bull! We see some “torerors” on a daily basis in the manner in which people call for attention.

Lately, I’ve been noticing more and more people announcing their good deeds in public, especially on social networks. Some may  say that there is no good deed, because it is almost always accompanied by the pursuit of good feelings. That’s not always the case, because the effort, time, or resources spent on a good deed sometimes outweighs the elation of doing good, including making someone happy. Of course, that is based on perspective.

Setting that aside, let’s suppose that all good deeds inevitably go hand in hand with good feelings—the earthly reward from God for humanitarianism, regardless of religion. God cares for all people even if they don’t care back. So in this case, wanting more attention for the good deed you’ve done, even if it is in the church setting, seems to me a bit greedy and self righteous. Why want more good feelings when it has already come to you now, such as in the form of gratitude when you once performed the act, or later in Heaven from God?

Besides the proclamation of piety, there is also the chance to vent about someone else’s bad deed in public masked by a veil of holiness. This is nothing short of gossip. When someone does this, I often see support and praise for the gossiper—how patient and gracious they were in the presence of that other “mean” person. Again, fishing for compliments. Never “holy.”

I don’t really blame a lot of folks outside the church for doing this type of thing, but I believe the people within the church should know better. If it’s not accompanied by the urge to ask for more help in this area of service, then I don’t see why there is a point to announce what you’ve done good for others—especially on an empty platform full of people such as Facebook.

Here’s a passage from the Bible that specifically says not to announce your good deeds:

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

- Matthew 6:1-4

Sadly, I personally feel I must announce my good works, because I get judged for doing “nothing.” Some others may feel the same. It is not always the case that someone is doing nothing good if they don’t talk about it. You can see it by the way they deal or talk with others on a regular basis, what they choose to wear or buy with their money (this might be hard to judge, because a lot of us may look wealthy but buy second hand), what they do in their free time, etc. These in the Christian community are called “fruits.” These fruits are the evidence of a person’s character. They don’t need to talk about their fruits, but they must simply act.

I guess in the presence of trusted friends and family, announcing your good deeds is okay. There’s nothing wrong with sharing everything with people you already share everything with and love. However when you seek for more attention outside this sphere, especially without humbly encouraging others to follow suit, then this essentially reverses the good deed you’ve done.

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Do you sometimes feel tempted or pressured to announce your good deed to others?

emiliopucci

In recent pop culture, the tribal-hippie look seems to have been overtaken by boring and limited combinations—common patterns like paisley and damask, pastel colors that make tribal look cute instead of fierce, and the hippie style look bland instead of bizarre. There are so many other patterns that can be played around with and so many color combinations that can be used. Emilio Pucci rises above the norm!

I was very surprised to see how there were so many conservative or modest options in many of his pieces, and yet they were far removed from boring. His patterns are like an explosion of ethereal colors forced out of an otherwise empty and dull universe.

The focus of every outfit put together with an Emilio Pucci piece is the work of art found deep in the pattern and color and less on the silhouette of the body wearing the outfit. This may be good news for those who may be insecure about their bodies, but for those who are confident with theirs, the pieces have an interesting effect of drawing more attention to the person wearing it—their personality, their insights, their taste.

Wearing an Emilio Pucci piece invites conversation and wonder.

Below, you can check out some of my favorite patterns from his Fall 2012 collection and Emilio Pucci’s fun yet wacky designs for Braniff International Airways’ stewardess uniforms. You can also invest in some of Emilio Pucci pieces at Harrods—out of this world kaleidoscope patterns that will leave your mind drifting into another dimension!

 

Emilio Puccini Fall 2012

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Images from Fashionising

Emilio Pucci’s uniform designs for Braniff International Airway’s stewardesses/hostesses:

Emilio Pucci was determined to bring “The End of the Plain Plane” to Braniff International Airways’ stewardess uniforms which were worn from 1965-1977. They were separate components that were to be added or removed, depending on the weather conditions. One of the more conspicuous innovations was a bubble helmet to protect the hostesses’ perfect 60s hairdo! I personally think it looks awesome and so sci-fi, a la Logan’s Run. His uniforms got so popular that even Barbie had some Pucci uniforms. See below for some photos.

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rachelbodyflowinstructorcertified

As of February 21, I am now a certified Bodyflow instructor—which means I get to teach mostly yoga with a bit of Pilates and Tai Chi in the mix! I guess if you can’t decide on one and don’t have enough time or money to go through everything but still have so much passion for each… you gotta do the ‘flow! ;-) It’s been a labor of tough love and lots of MIA in the fashion world, but I finally made it. And guess what? I now have a permanent class too! Come to my first class Saturday March 15 at Brick Bodies Perry Hall at 10:30am, and we will literally “kick it!” Right now, I am just doing every other Saturday which might change or not soon. So if you want to come see me and have an awesome mind blowing mind-body experience, make sure it’s the Saturday that I’m teaching! Otherwise, the other instructors are quite cool too.

If you want to read my long but honest review of Les Mills’ Bodyflow, you can read it here on Modern Life Survivalist. You can watch a video of me teaching a class, if you haven’t seen that yet (quality is BAD)! Oh, and if you’re not subscribed to the newly made website Modern Life Survivalist, you might want to if you’re an alternative health and fitness nut! I write on there all the time.

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Sleeping Beauty wearing turquoise? Yes! There is a type of stone called “Sleeping Beauty Turquoise,” and I thought I’d liven this post up with an image of Aurora with turquoise jewelry as I talk about the stones!  Princess Aurora’s gown is actually turquoise in color, but my favorite outfit of hers (and there must’ve been three total not including her baby outfit) is actually this modest beige and black “French maid” dress with a black headband. I fell in love with this look so much that I tried to dress like her when I was a little girl—up until today!

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is the most popular kind of turquoise found only in one place—the Sleeping Beauty mine near Globe, Arizona. The mine got its name because of its shape resembling a sleeping woman. See the photo below!

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I actually am sort of interested in seeing Maleficent in the theater, because Sleeping Beauty was my second favorite Disney princess story next to Aladdin. It’s coming out on my birthday, May 30 ;-) The first time I saw the trailer, I knew whose shadow it was immediately just by seeing those curvy horns on that woman’s head! I was referring to the villain, not Angelina Jolie! I gave myself a pat on the back.

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Do you remember what year it was when turquoise was the “hottest” stone out there? I know there always seems to be SOMETHING every year, but if I remember it right that was when I was in high school, and I really wanted a lot of turquoise jewelry! The color is truly maleficent… I mean, magnificent! Have you heard about Sleeping Beauty turquoise before?

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