Yogi and mental health advocate Aurora Myers is on a roll. A recent college graduate, this beauty isn't wasting any time when it comes to putting her dreams into action and that means pouring her heart and soul into the launch of I&I Outfitters, a clothing brand with an inspired goal of raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental health issues. When she's not working towards making her vision a reality, she can be found sharing her love of yoga, spending time in meditation, and showing up as a bright light in her community. This is what living well looks like to her...
Since graduating from college a couple of months ago, my schedule has been fairly flexible, so I’ve been working to implement healthy habits and routines. In the mornings, I try to wake up early, make a cup of tea, read over my daily meditation, and then take a walk around the neighborhood while meditating and setting an intention for the day. If I’m feeling up to it, I will go on a run or do some light stretching or strengthening exercises. I’ll shower, eat breakfast, and by then it’s usually time to drive downtown to teach an office yoga class. From there I will hang out at a coffee shop and work on I&I Outfitters, send emails, take care of business, research, read a book, plan my next mini trip somewhere, etc. I’m always planning and researching things. In the evening I might go on a run (if I didn’t go on one in the morning) and take another walking meditation.
Breakfast: Breakfast is my absolute favorite! I could eat breakfast food all day. In the mornings, I usually have tea or water with one of my favorite simple dishes, chia seed pudding with fruit. I usually add grapes, mangoes, and strawberries. I’ll pair that with an egg and spinach omelette with a half of an avocado and cheese on a bagel. I always have some kind of fruit in the morning. I’m not the best cook but I make killer smoothies, and I add all sorts of crazy ingredients in them like cashew butter and avocados. It sounds gross but the nut butters along with frozen bananas and avocados make smoothies so creamy! Lunch: If I end up having a late breakfast, my lunch turns into an early dinner. I don’t eat at set times, I just make sure to nourish myself whenever I’m hungry and am always mindful about filling up with clean, whole foods. Snacks: I love snacking on frozen fruit, but by far my favorite snack is the Peanut Butter Pretzels from Trader Joe’s. Dinner: I usually have a light dinner: chicken quesadillas, a salad, another smoothie… depending on how hungry I am, I might just snack on a couple things throughout the night. Drink: My favorite drink to splurge on is a boba milk tea!
To stay physically fit, I teach yoga and I practice yoga. I just ran my first half marathon and have signed up for 2 more! So I train for that as much as I can by exploring new routes around the neighborhood. I listen to whatever my body needs on a particular day. If I’m feeling energized and motivated to get through a power workout, I will work up a sweat. If I’m not feeling up to it, I will try to get in 20-30 minutes of light stretching and low-key strengthening exercises to help with my back pain.
I love to take yoga classes from my teacher and mentor, Martin Scott, who is based out of Union Yoga in San Francisco. I also love taking classes from Kim Sin, Stephanie Snyder, and Sri Dharma Mittra.
In relationships, I value honesty and action. By this, I mean that I value when someone’s values, goals, and ideals line up with the way they are living their lives. I’ve been in multiple relationships where what was said did not line up with what was done, and that has been a huge lesson for me in learning to value my self-worth enough to be able to walk away. I also value and admire patience, non-judgment, humor, and a self-starter, go-getter kind of attitude.
Home has always been a very touchy subject for me. I have had to leave what I had called home multiple times because of circumstances outside my family’s control. After moving away from home to go to college, I struggled to find my sense of belonging with roommate after roommate, from one house to the next. While traveling abroad, I lived on couches and in bunk beds and I always felt like I was taking up too much space. So to me, home has always been a place to sleep. It’s always been my bed: thick, heavy covers that I can pull up to my ears and soft pillows to sink into at the end of the day.
When I do have my own place one day, which I would like to build, I would like the space to be filled with sunlight, open, light, airy, with plants. Not cluttered. Minimalist, with all the essentials for adventuring nearby: mountains, the beach, sandy trails for running...
Stress-Release and Centering Tools
Over the years I have added a bunch of tools to my problem-solving repertoire of self care. To ground myself, I will meditate, sit still, and notice what thoughts and physical sensations arise. I try not to judge them, and just let my mind wander, watching where it goes. I will read a prayer from Marianne Williamson’s A Year of Miracles book or pick up A Course in Miracles and read that lesson for the day. I’ll take a hot bath, or a cold shower, depending on the weather, and make myself a cup of tea. I’ll go on a walk, not knowing where I’ll end up, and just walk for the sake of giving myself something to do. I’ll light a candle or some incense and just sit and breathe. I’ll let myself cry or fall asleep even if it’s in the middle of the day. I’ll cancel plans with people if I need time alone and not get too upset with myself about needing space. I’ll journal out my thoughts to get my brain thinking in a linear format, allowing it to slow down for a bit and process things, rather than running on autopilot with all these tabs open.
It’s funny that I’m being asked this what feeds my soul and lights me up because I was just asking myself this. What replenishes me is creating: dreaming up new ways of how existing paradigms could work better, could be more efficient, could make more of a difference. When I’m creating something, whether that’s content for I&I Outfitters, or designing the website, I can get so caught up in it that everything else seems to disappear: all my worries and the little voice that keeps pestering me with “what is the point of all of this?” disappears.
I am happiest and I feel like I have a sense of purpose when I am in community with others, serving. That takes a lot of different forms, but it could be when I’m teaching a yoga class, or volunteering at a golf tournament… whenever I’m partaking in something bigger than myself, whenever I’m contributing to that and showing up from a place of presence and service, then I feel like things make sense and what I’m devoting my time to is worth it.
I am most excited about the growth of I&I Outfitters. It’s daunting to think about all of the little pieces that have to come together in order for this to turn into a successful brand, but it is reassuring to see how much engagement and positive feedback I’ve received in the past couple months since it started. It makes it seem like it can turn into something really meaningful and relevant the more and more I dedicate myself to planning out its future.