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The Sardinian Way

Jennifer Oechsner

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Last weekend I returned from an amazing trip to Italy. I had the great fortune to host my most recent yoga adventure on the island of Sardinia. The island was the perfect backdrop, I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful location. We spent part of the week in the charming Catelonian city of Alghero and part in the cozy beach town of Cala Gonone. We swam in the awe inspiring turquoise waters Sardinia is famous for, practiced yoga, ate, drank and explored together. It was an week filled with deliciousness, adventure and laughter. 

Being on Sardinia for a week was magical. I felt that I could easily slide into life there. I could feel the slower pace, the energy of the people and natural beauty draw me in. I loved starting my days with a walk or a run, sipping a cappuccino and taking in the surroundings. 

One of the interesting things about Sardinia is the longevity of its people. Sardinia is one of 5 "Blue Zones" in the world which are areas identified as having inhabitants that often live beyond 90. The other four are Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece) and the Seventh-day Adventist community in Loma Linda, Calif.

The secrets of the longer lives in Sardinia aren't really that surprising. Seafood is plentiful and meat has a weekly rather than daily presence in the diet. Sheep cheese is a staple and goats milk is part of the traditional diet. Sheep cheese is more nutritionally dense and much easier to digest than cheese made from cow's milk. Goats milk is high in omega-3 fatty acids and is anti-inflammatory.  Sardinians also eat what they grow and grow what they eat. Being an island, access to food from elsewhere is more costly and less accessible. As a result, sustainability reigns and eating with the seasons is the common way to go.

Another influence of the long lives of Sardininans is the inclusion of a small amount of red wine on a daily basis. The traditional red wine produced there, cannanau, is particularly high in flavanoids which are anti-inflammatory and help ward off disease including heart disease and alzheimers.

Sardinians also take things at a slower pace and live in community. Meals are an event shared with friends and family. They take time to prepare, to enjoy and linger over them. Elders are cherished and looked after. Afternoons are  quiet and slow and Sundays are more often a day of rest. I feel blessed to have experienced a small sliver of life on Sardinia and look forward to the day I can return.  

The Middle Way: The path to long term health & happiness

Jennifer Oechsner


Within Buddhist philosophy there lies the concept of the middle path or middle way. This refers to living a life away from extremes. Arisotle also favored the virtues of this path and wrote, "every virtue is a mean between two extremes, each of which is a vice.”  

Many of us could benefit from following the middle path but sadly our modern society does not support it. Multi-tasking, extreme workouts, and fad diets are the norm and somehow jam packed schedules seems to be the rule rather than the exception. How often have you had to schedule a time to have a phone conversation with a friend? How many times have you jumped on board with an extreme diet but just gained the weight right back? How many of you have embarked on a fitness regime that called for maximum intensity every time? This energy and attitude for living is not conducive to long term happiness which is why this path of extremes is not sustainable. 

This middle path makes sense to me but it can be hard to walk the talk. Thankfully, progress has been made over the years. When I was younger I was not as conscious of my diet. I largely ate what I craved and used intense exercise and periods of deprivation to combat weight gain. This behavior often left me physically depleted and emotionally depressed. I still enjoy intense exercise and preparing for triathlons and relay runs is a great source of empowerment. However, I temper this intensity with regular yoga and taking time off to recover after events. I have also become better at listening to my body and making adjustments to my training regimen when necessary. ALthough I have to admit that I do need reminders sometimes that its ok to take breaks.

One area II do need to work on is my schedule. I often feel as though I am trying to keep many plates spinning. When I check my messages first thing in the morning, I recognize I lack the discipline to sit in meditation for a few minutes instead. (even though I know I feel so much better for it) I rely on vacations and weekends away to recharge rather than making time for stillness on a daily basis.  Finding MY way to the middle path means (sometimes) saying no to more commitments, meditation over hitting the snooze and turning my phone off when its time to wind down in the evening. What's YOUR edge? What would help you find the middle path? I would love to hear from you!

Aligin with nature this spring

Jennifer Oechsner


Spring seems to finally be here in Portland. I know some of my friends here and around the country had a tough time with the drawn out cold and wet weather. As I write this the sun is coming up on what is sure to be a gorgeous day. Seeing the sun is even more magical when its been hiding for a little while.

The change of seasons brings an energetic shift. Its easier for me to get up when my alarm goes off (even on those 5am wake-up days), I feel more energized for my workouts and the food I crave is lighter and healthier. I feel myself shifting from the sluggishness of winter and I love it. This leo has missed the warm sun!

I believe that part of being our best selves is aligning with nature. Part of this is eating with the seasons. In Ayurveda (yoga's sister science), there is a strong emphasis on the energetics of food, the impact this has on the constitution and how this impact shifts as the world around us shifts. 

Spring is a time of re-awakening, a time to release the stagnant energy of winter. In the winter months moisture builds up in the body and we need to clear that moisture to help rid the body of toxins and reset our health. In Ayurveda, this means eating food that helps to stimulate your digestive system and avoiding food that cause water retention. Here are a few tips to align your nutrition with the season this spring:

  • Avoid sour and salty foods

  • Use herbs and spices that heat the digestive system like cayenne, garlic, ginger, cumin and black pepper

  • Eat warm and lightly cooked meals. Cooked food is easier to digest than raw

  • Include plenty of high fiber foods such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and (soaked) beans that act as a chimney sweep for your digestive track. 

  • Drink herbal teas that include herbs such as clove, cinnamon, licorice, dandelion, hibiscus and cardamom

  • Avoid heavy and oily foods

Yoga can help connect you to the energy of any season. In spring, I recommend emphasizing twists in your practice to help stimulate the digestive system. Twists compress your mid section and limit blood flow. When you release the twist, it stimulates flow of blood and energy to those areas. A short yoga practice is a great way to start your day. Here's a short sequence you can practice daily to to help bring you into the flow of spring. I recommend holding each static pose for 5-10 breaths per side

Need help with this sequence? Reach out to me at and we can arrange at time to walk you through it step by step. Visit my Facebook page for healthy lifestyle tips and recipes.



Jennifer Oechsner


As a holistic wellness professional I coach people in various aspects. I teach people how to eat better and give their bodies the fuel they need to thrive. I teach people how to move to improve body awareness, lose weight, gain strength and improve balance. But the coaching doesn't stop here. What we eat and how we move our bodies is only part of the equation. The mental emotional component is a huge aspect of overall wellness. Our internal dialogue, our self care habits and our relationships all have a huge impact on our daily lives. These aspects of wellness are often the trickiest part for people to navigate and most difficult to change. The same goes for me.

Towards the end of the year I decided it would be the best for me to reset. In September I embarked on a 30 day health reboot and I felt great. With the holiday indulgences, ongoing injuries and some personal hardship weighing me down I decided it would serve me to do it again. Giving up things like alcohol and dairy for 30 days is only a part of the commitment I made for the program. Its also about paying better attention to how my habits effect my overall sense of well being. Just like my clients, that mental emotional piece is challenging to navigate. Even more so than eliminating coffee for 30 days. 

Part of my struggle in this realm is dealing with my inner critic that rears its ugly head when I don't exercise hard enough. And to be honest, this inner critic wins even when I know the hard workouts have been preventing an injury from fully healing. However, I am happy to say that I have been taking my own advice. 

Over the summer and into fall I was training hard for various events and really enjoying challenging myself at the gym. I thrive on physical intensity and it empowers me both physically and mentally. However, I fell away from my yoga practice during this time and my body suffered because of it. Not only that but I wasn't spending nearly enough time in stillness. 

At the start of this 30 day reboot I re-committed to my yoga practice. A big part of this is forgoing some harder workouts in exchange for time on my mat. I already feel better for it. A couple of days ago I was getting ready for my day and it normally would have been a day for circuit training. My mind told me to push through and do it. But my body and my deeper energy told me to skip it and take a 90 minute yoga class instead. That little battle inside my head ensued. In the end yoga was victorious. It may not seem like much of a victory, but it is for me. 

In addition to getting my butt back on my matt I have committed to getting more sleep too. (which I have to say is easier and of better quality when there is no wine with dinner). Sleep effects everything. When I don't sleep enough it shows  around my eyes, my mood suffers, I am more likely to make bad food choices and it is harder to focus on my work. I'm sure you can all relate. It took a couple of long nights of sleep to remind me just how important it is. Taking better care of myself means I can better navigate the busy season in my business and put myself into position for up-level my life and businesses in 2018.

It's one thing to coach people on their health and wellness. It's a whole different ballgame following some of my own advice. But hey, I'm only human and the struggle to stay healthy and strong is real for all of us. Where those struggles lie varies. We all need some support to help stay on track. 

Do you need help finding a path to better health? Its not too late to put yourself in place to up-level your life for 2018. For more information on my 30 day health reboot or health coaching contact me at I would love to chat with you about how I can help you become healthier and stronger. I am also available for on site corporate wellness consulting. 

Hard Work Pays Off!

Jennifer Oechsner


Over the years I have had the pleasure of helping people become stronger and healthier. I love what I do and take great pride in guiding people to realize their full potential. I believe that a big part of connecting to internal and external strength is the ability to connect to the physical self. Just as we are a product of our thoughts and mental habits, we are a product of our physicality as well. To be healthy inside and out we must move our bodies. To know ourselves is to know all aspects of the self. Know the life you want to live and take steps to get there. Know the way you want to feel in your body and give yourself the appropriate food and exercise habits to get there.

We are so unique. What gets me up in the morning might be very different from what motivates you. Some people thrive on short and intense physical activity, while some prefer slow and steady. Some prefer the heat, and some thrive when it is damp and cool. Some people thrive on a vegetarian diet and others do better including animal products in a plant based diet.

Part of the beauty of being a health and wellness professional is that I have the opportunity to work with so many different kinds of people. One client I have had the great pleasure of working with since the beginning of 2017 is Kara Hockersmith. She came to me because she needed guidance in her workouts and motivation to stay on track. It has been a great journey so far. 

When Kara and I started working together she balked when I handed her 8 or 10 lb dumbbells. One day I handed her a kettle bell and she said with a laugh "this is the heaviest thing I have ever lifted". She didn't believe me that she could hold 2 of them and do squats. But she did. When she was able to do push-ups she was genuinely surprised by her own strength (but I wasn't). She comes into each session committed to working hard and gives it her all. As with all of us, some days are harder than others but she's always willing to try what I put before her and is sometimes surprised by her abilities to squat heavy loads and do my crazy push ups.

It has been such a pleasure to be a part of the gains she has made in her strength, agility and balance. But she gets all the credit. She's the one who does the hard work. I nudge her to her edge and she takes the steps to growth. Kara's most recent development is adding miles and speed to her runs. Now SHE is inspiring ME to work hard. Sometimes the teacher becomes the student. Get it Kara! It takes commitment and perseverance when we want to improve and nobody said this was easy. But it sure is rewarding.

Want to get in on personal training in 2018? I have a few openings in my schedule and I am now available for personal training in 2 locations. Me Fitness Studios (Alberta and MLK) and Body Balance Techniques (121 SW Morrison). Contact me for available times and to discuss your wellness goals for 2018.

Fall into the rhythm of the season

Jennifer Oechsner


Fall is a wonderful time of year. The vibrant changing leaves, the crip air, and the abundant harvest define the changing season, one that many of us welcome after the heat of summer. I find fall to be such a nurturing time of year. Just like many of us, I LOVE summer and everything that comes with it. But let's be honest, all the activities and heat can be exhausting. With the change of season I feel called to settle in and take action. Time to clean out the closet and drawers and get rid things I don't need anymore. Time to set new goals and determine a plan of action. Time to cook thick, spicy soups on Sunday afternoons. Time to get out in nature and walk rather than run. 

This cold and windy time of year can also bring with it more sickness. According to Ayurvedic tradition this "vata" or air dominant time can be balanced by our diet and lifestyle choices. 

To find more grounding to balance the vata energy of fall establish a routine. Try to wake at the same time and give yourself ample time to set the tone for your day. Moisturize after your shower, spend 10-15 minutes in mediation as many days as you can. If you are new to the practice start with 5 minutes and work up to more. Get your body moving with more gentle exercise.

As you might guess, hearty and heavier foods are great for fall. Winter squash are abundant, delicious and so versatile. Other optimal foods to include during this season are oats, quinoa, beans, beets, carrots, chilis and garlic. Limit intake of raw foods as they are more difficult to digest, particularly during colder weather. 

Follow these simple tips this season and keep your body healthy, strong and balanced.  Contact me for more suggestions or for healthy fall recipes. 

The Joy Within Discipline

Jennifer Oechsner


On September 5th I embarked on a 30 day plan to clean up my diet, change some unhealthy habits I had adopted over the summer and prepare for my fist olympic distance triathlon. I eliminated inflammatory foods, focused on getting more sleep, decreased my social time to turn my attention inward and up-leveled my training which included more rest days. All of these things required concerted effort and non of them were easy (yes, even taking more rest days). Making change, even when we know the change is positive, is not easy. It takes discipline, but discipline doesn't have to be a dirty word. Over the past month this discipline has helped me cultivate a sense of peace and an unexpected undercurrent of joy.

In the Shambhala tradition the snow lion represents joy, unconditional cheerfulness and a mind free from doubt. Over the past month I have noticed a shift in my general sense of well being, beginning to feel the embodiment of the snow lion. Skipping the wine with dinner improved mental clarity in the morning. Eliminating coffee took away a crutch I realized I didn't need. Implementing more rest days helped me push myself to greater improvements on my training days. Although there were moments of joy when I felt my muscles getting stronger riding hills and on my training swims in the Columbia. Even more importantly I felt a greater sense of peace.  Life's struggles are still there but there has been lighter feel to obstacles. Even training through a hip injury felt more navigable than it might have been

I was certainly not perfect on my 30 days to healthy living plan but that was also part of the process for me. Faltering didn't derail me as it would have in the past. Taking extra time off of training to nurture an injury was hard but worth it in the long run. I left room for self compassion when I wasn't perfect and recognized this as a growth point rather than telling myself I failed. 

When the day of the triathlon came after so much anticipation, pain and excitement I felt ready to dive in full force and accept what happened in my body. I might not be able to run, I might have to take breaks but I committed to doing the best I could. And it turned out, my mental an physical training paid off. I soared through the mile swim, climbed the hills with a vengeance on the 25 mile ride and found my stride on the last half of the 6 mile run. As I sprinted toward the finish line on my runners high there were tears of joy in my eyes. Joy for completing the challenge, the amazing backdrop of the endeavor, and gratitude for my blessed life. My heart is full.

Want to know how you can up-level your life with 30 days to healthy living? Contact me at

Roaring at the Leo Moon

Jennifer Oechsner


Anyone who knows me well knows that I love my birthday. It's a day all for me to do whatever I want. It's a day to celebrate all that I have accomplished, all that I am and to set intentions for my next trip around the sun. It's a day of reflection. I always spend it doing things I love that empower me, surrounded by people I love.

Some of my favorite things about living in Portland are forest park and the rivers in and around the city. So I started my day with a long trail run and followed it up with a picnic and swim at the Columbia. We got a little lost on the run and ended up running much further than planned. Admittedly, I lost my cool and gave up on myself and my ability to make it through those last 4 miles. But then, I thought, I am Leo hear me roar and even though there were moments of walking, I made it through to the end. Although I have to say I have never been so happy to see a trial head as I was yesterday afternoon. The swim in the cool Columbia afterward was glorious and the picnic was perfect.

The time of the Leo moon is a time of power for me, a time for me to commit to big leaps. A time to think big. I'm excited to see how the next year unfolds.

As I celebrate the beginning of my 41st year and reflect back on past birthday celebrations here in Portland I am reminded how blessed I am. I have so many lovely souls to share my life with here. The strong women (and men) in my life inspire me, motivate me, and hold me up when I need it.  Every lion needs her pride, I'm blessed to have such a lovely one to share the upcoming weekend relaxing and celebrating at the Roaring River. I hope you all also have a fabulous summer weekend doing things that nourish your heart and soul. 

The mental push ups of mindfullness

Jennifer Oechsner

Movement is a big part of my life and on most days I engage in some type of physical activity. This helps to keep me grounded and connect to my strength (both physical and otherwise). When I am in times of struggle, the ways I move my body tend to get more intense. I run faster, I lift heavier, I stretch deeper. Moving my body helps me to heal my mind. 

However, I tend to miss and important part of the healing process. My meditation practice takes a back burner, subconsciously avoiding sitting with the difficult emotions. Its so much easier to sit when positivity dominates my mental landscape. However, its during times of struggle that I need it the most. Recently, I have been exploring sitting with sadness when it arises. My pattern is to fight it, beat it into submission. With an open and tender heart, I am learning that all of my emotions are ok and that they key is not to let them carry me away. This is not easy work and I'm not saying I will stop going for a hard run during times of struggle but I am making more of an effort to sit in the space I am in. Running is easy, sitting is hard. 

In the Shambhala tradition it is taught that opening to sadness with a tender heart is a source of genuine bravery. This warrior's path teaches us to live courageously, meeting the challenges of our lives with compassion, allowing us to care for ourselves and others. Life's circumstances and corresponding emotions fluctuate day to day and sometimes minute to minute. It is only through mindfulllness practices that we can learn to navigate these fluctuations with grace. I wouldn't expect to be able to do any push ups without conscious work. Likewise, I can't expect to become skilled at taming my mind without regular practice. 

Do you have a regular meditation practice? Are you looking to start one? I would love to help. Contact me and let's put a plan into action!

A shield, a sword and love....

Jennifer Oechsner

There's a wonder woman in all of us.

Since I was a very little girl I always thought wonder woman was pretty damn cool. She had that awesome costume (and looked so pretty wearing it!), she didn't take any shit, she had her very own jet she could take anywhere and no one could see her fly away because it was invisible. And then the biggest one, she could outfight and outsmart so many boys. (i'm sure this last point of admiration had something to do with the fact that my older brother did such a great job terrorizing me). 

Like so many women from my generation I was thrilled when the Wonder Woman the movie recently came out. Like so many others, I left the theater inspired and empowered.

Don't worry, no spoiler alert!....

In the movie Wonder Woman left her comfortable home to venture out into the world to fight. She could have stayed in her comfort zone but she couldn't ignore the pull to fight the demons who were destroying the world. She was told not to leave, there were times when she was told she couldn't do it. Yet she persevered. She was told to keep her head down and that there was nothing she could do but she chose to fight. At a pivotal point in the movie she shed her cloak of disguise so she could fight unencumbered. And then she really kicked some ass. 

While most of us will not have to fight on an external battlefield, we all walk a battlefield within on a daily basis. We are faced with people who tell us we can't do it, we limit ourselves through our self doubt, we wear cloaks the prevent us from showing our authentic self to the world. We all need to find a shield to deflect the naysayers, a sword to cut through our own limiting beliefs, and to shed the cloak the hides our inner light. 

Over the years I have been drawn to practices that provide the arsenal I need to get through life's battles. Yoga helps bring me peace, a pair of boxing gloves and a heavy bag kick the shit out of some self doubt and meditation helps me to let my light shine.

What is your shield? What is your sword? How do you bring love into the battlefield of life? I'd love to hear from you. We are in this together. Let's all be soldiers for peace, peace that starts within. If more of us were fighting for peace within and fighting for those who cant fight for themselves how different could the world be?

Fuel your body, fuel your life.

Jennifer Oechsner

My private clients and class members often ask me what they should eat in the morning. People also wonder whether they should eat before a morning workout and if so, what is best?

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is important. This doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming but I do believe that certain components are integral to give your body the fuel it needs to thrive.

All too often the go to for breakfast is simple carbohydrates. Pastries, bagels, fruit juice, pancakes and some cereals all fall into this category. These types of food spike the blood sugar and while this can give you a burst of energy first thing in the morning it is a recipe for an energy crash later. Put very simply, over time this cycle can disrupt your body's natural ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This potentially causes insulin resistance and makes weight loss difficult.   

What's the alternative? I recommend always including protein in your breakfast. I get up and go first thing in the morning so I need something quick. Most days I have a smoothie that includes protein powder. I resisted using protein powders for a long time and thought I didn't need supplements to get the nutrients I need. While that might be true, I found that adding protein powder to my morning smoothie kept me full much longer. Here's one of my favorite go to smoothie recipes:

  • organic frozen Cherries (about 1 cup)

  • 2 tbsp ground flax

  • Arbonne chocolate protein powder

  • large handful baby spinach

  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Just like any meal of the the day, keep it balanced. Include some healthy fat and complex carbohydrates like whole grains or vegetables and you are good to go. As to the question of what/if you should eat before morning exercise, I think this is an individual thing. Some days I wake up hungry and know I want to practice yoga or run in first thing. On these days I have a banana or a couple of mandarins and save my main breakfast for after exercise.

The body digests fruit quickly so it will give you energy more quickly without spiking the blood sugar like fruit juice does on an empty stomach. Most of the time I just have some water or a cup of tea before morning exercise and I have plenty of energy. If you are exercising in the morning and feel weak or get light headed, this is a good indicator that you should eat before exercise.

Another great breakfast that is easy to make and grab n' go is the omlette muffin. This recipe is grain free and dairy free. Make a batch and they are ready to go for busy mornings. You could heat them up but I thing they are great cold too. 

  • 8 eggs

  • 8 ounces organic sausage 

  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper

  • 1 cup diced onion

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is preheating, brown sausage. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Beat eggs together in a large bowl. Mix cooked sausage, bell pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, and water into the beaten eggs. Pour egg mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven until muffins are set in the middle, 18 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy! I'd love to hear your feedback. And feel free to reach out if you have questions about other healthy breakfast options (or any other meal for that matter)

To truly live is to grow, how can you grow in 2017?

Jennifer Oechsner

A lot of people prefer to avoid New Years Eve celebrations and shun the idea of New Years Resolutions. I am not in this group. I love celebrating the end of one year and welcoming in the next. For me, the New Year is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean, to start fresh. Resolutions are a way to remind myself to stay on track and assess where I would like my life to go.

Maybe the word resolution is too loaded and makes you shy away from the idea of making change. Maybe it makes you think that you have to give something up. Instead, how about New Years Declaration, or New Years Purpose? Maybe it doesn't have to be about giving something up but about taking steps toward a larger goal. Here are a few ways to stay the course.

  • Personally, I have a lot of goals for 2017. Some are large, some are small. A good way to keep perspective and not get overwhelmed is to set quarterly goals. Some of what I am working on will take time, but I need to have strong roots in place to achieve the growth I desire. I need to carefully plant the seeds and tend to them along the way. 
  • Another way to stay on track is to share your goals with friends and family. Encourage each other to persevere and hold each other accountable. Making change is not easy and we all need support along the way. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and embolden you to do your best. When you feel yourself falter, call on a loved one for help. Meet a friend for coffee and talk it out. To falter or fail is an opportunity to reassess. Ask for help!
  • Keep track of successes, no matter how small. I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of self loathing.  I tend to beat myself up when I skip yoga for too long, make poor food choices or when a workshop I hold has low attendance. One way for me to get out of this downward spiral is to remind myself of things I have done well. I encourage you to document these successes. Changing mental framework takes time, repetition and diligence. The simple act of writing things down is a useful tool. 

Now get out there and kick some ass in 2017! For me that means growing my business, sticking to a budget, daily meditation and visiting family more. I'd would love to hear from you about YOUR goals for 2017! Share them on my Facebook page and we can ALL support EACH OTHER in being the best we can be for 2017 and beyond.


Foster Global Oneness

Jennifer Oechsner

In these uncertain times it is easy to shut yourself in. It is easy to sit paralyzed with fear, wondering which direction this country will take. It is easy to fall into the trap of anger and resentment. It is difficult to cultivate a sense of hope and togetherness when there are strong lines of division. We are a city, a state, a country and a world that is made up of many different kinds of people. People with different religious beliefs, opinions,  genders and races. Yet we all still want some of the same things. We all want to be happy, to be healthy and free to make our own choices. Just as there are things that divide us, these common desires create a common ground. 

Recognizing these universal truths is part of why I love to travel. It is easy to get caught up in our everyday lives and disconnect ourselves from the world at large. Traveling introduces us to new people, places and ways of living. It stimulates the mind and the senses. But it also can remind us of our similarities. We all laugh, we all cry, we all want the best for ourselves and our loved ones. We all want to love and be loved.

I feel blessed to have traveled to many countries and to have spent several years living abroad. These experiences have shaped the woman I am today and have inspired me to share my love of travel with others by organizing trips to new and interesting places. 

In 2014 I led a group to India, this year me and Kimi Marin led a group to Nepal. In March her and I are taking a group to Ecuador! On these trips we create an experience of togetherness, compassion and adventure.  

We will start our journey in Quito working with street children. Humanitarian work fosters human connection and reminds us of the commonalities between us. While you will undoubtedly be struck by how differently we live, you will also notice that laughter is the same. Love is the same. Compassion is the same.

After we leave Quioto we will travel to the rain forest where we will spend the remainder of the retreat exploring, connecting with locals, meditating in the jungle and practicing yoga. I look forward to sharing each of these experiences with you. Contact me for more information Or visit to make your deposit.

Warrior for Change

Jennifer Oechsner

To Change is to Grow.....

Do you find yourself plodding through your work days? Are you continually telling yourself you really need to eat better, exercise more, sleep more.....wishing you just felt better about your life? It's easy to get caught in ruts. We perpetuate our circumstances through repeated thought patterns. These patterns are a part of the brain and are a very real part of your brain chemistry. But don't worry, we can all create new patterns of thought and behavior. However, it's not easy and it generally involves stepping out of your comfort zone.

When I moved to Portland 6 years ago to start a new career I was terrified. What if I wasn't good at it? What if I couldn't find work? What if I wasn't "successful"? While my business has grown a lot since I arrived in Portland, those old patterns of fear based self talk still creep into my internal dialogue. How do I fight it? 

By continuing to step out of my comfort zone through new endeavors and being more open about my challenges with those close to me. My inner warrior tells me to be strong and that I can deal with things on my own. But as I allow myself to be just a little but more vulnerable and lean on others just a little but more, I realize how helpful this is for me. The internal fear based dialogue becomes a little easier to let go of.  2016 has brought big change, grand adventure and now, new endeavors. Each of these has brought excitement as well as fear. But I know I can move right through that fear. With a few kind souls to hold my hand when I need it.

I challenge you to consider changes YOU can make. What internal dialogue is holding you back? How can you change your story? How can you grow? We're in this together! I would love to hear from you!

Warrior-Flow Fall Happenings

Jennifer Oechsner

Happy Hour....and "Journey to Ecuador" 

Thursday, November 3rd, 6pm

Hello Friends! Want to grab a drink and talk yoga and tropical adventures? Join Kimi Marin and me at the Bye and Bye to learn all about our NEXT yoga, mediation and volunteering trip...."Journey to Ecuador". We will share our plans for the trip, answer any questions you may have and build excitement for our next once in a lifetime adventure. Join us for on November 3rd and you will receive $50 off the price of the trip. Not in Portland? No problem! Kimi and I can set up a Skype call to and we can have a cyber toast.

Warrior-Flow @ Yoga Union

Saturday, November 3rd, 1-3pm

Join me for this very special Warrior-Flow workshop. No experience necessary, just a willingness to try something new and HAVE FUN.
$25 before October 22nd, $35 at the door

Reserve your spot TODAY! 

Healthy Appetizers For Your Holiday Happenings

Sunday, November 6th,  4 - 6:30 pm

Tired of bringing the same nibbles to holiday potlucks?
Join me to learn step by step preparation to make simple, fun, seasonal, and healthy recipes with a creative twist that are sure to be a hit for large parties to more intimate ones.

Lots of samples provided and recipes to take home!

$30 @ Rain Meditation and Yoga, 2735 SE Main Street
*RSVP by 10/30 so I can determine food amounts*


Finding solace in stillness...

Jennifer Oechsner

I spent part of my weekend at a meditation training at the Shambhala Center, it was wonderful. It was eye opening, challenging, emotional and at times tough to get through. I was forced to face some demons I didn't want to face. I looked my self judgement in the face and wanted to turn away, but I sat and I breathed. I felt my fears bubble to the surface and wanted to push them down and run, but I sat and I breathed. I told myself I was doing it all wrong, then I sat and I breathed. I'm not saying I found all the answers on how to stop the wandering mind and the patterns of self judgement that arise, but I found glimmers of peace and self compassion. As I sat and breathed and we shared our experiences as a group, the window to another way of living opened a crack. In stillness I was able to catch glimpses of how I can follow a new path; one that casts aside self judgement. I know how important it is to practice self compassion yet no matter how many times I tell this to friends and students, in truth, I have a hard time living this. I am ready to let the light in. I am ready to live this truth. I know I will falter. And I know that is ok. The monkey mind will keep swinging with fervor if I do not learn to train it. What is most important is that I keep trying, keep breathing, keep coming back to the practice. Can you strive to find solace in stillness?

If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

What can you open up to in your life?

Jennifer Oechsner

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
-Anais Nin

Have you ever felt stuck? Have you ever felt like your on a hampster wheel that you just can't seem to get off of? Have you ever wanted to alter your course but couldn't quite figure out the right path? I'm sure you all said yes!

As I approach my 40th birthday I find myself pondering these questions and ready to  break free from self-limiting behaviors and self talk. I'm ready to blossom in all aspects of my life. Inklings of the need to change have been whispering to me, that inner voice became more of roar on my recent trip to Nepal. I became even more aware of how quickly the years pass and how short life is. Time spent living in a cocoon is time wasted. What can we do to break free from this tight bud, this cocoon? Here are my suggestions for overcoming the stickiness of self-limiting behavior that prevents us from living a full and authentic life.

  • Make a list of your professional and personal goals. To successfully cultivate change it is important to know where your want to go. The path will reveal itself when you decide on the destination.
  • What are your self-limiting beliefs?  Cultivate self awareness by taking note when you experience self doubt, fear of success or feel that you are not worthy of achieving your goals. It takes work to change these negative thought patterns and awareness of them is the first step to change.
  • Surround yourself with people who nurture your spirit and help you remain true to yourself. We all need people in our life to lean on, to listen and to keep us in check when we falter from our path. Share your goals and dreams with your support system. We are social beings that need community to thrive. 
  • Commit to a regular meditation practice. Even 10 minutes of mindfulness practice each day can calm the mind, soothe the nervous system and breed a deeper connection to the Self, your truth.

What changes are you working on in your life? What helps you when you feel stuck? I'd love to hear from you! 


Fearlessness: the Path of the Garuda

Jennifer Oechsner

Last month I wrote about the path of the snow lion, the path to cultivating a joyful and meaningful life. This is one of four symbolic dignities that is part of the Shambhala tradition. This month I am drawn to the path of fearlessness. In Shambhala, this path is represented by the Garuda, a legendary Tibetan bird. It is said that the Garuda hatches from its egg full grown and soars into space with no limits. This symbolizes our ability to expand without limits, to go beyond preconceived limits wth nothing to obstruct our vast mind. Through harnessing the fearless nature of the Garuda we can release anxiety about how far we can go in our lives. 

It is easy to fall into the trap of self doubt. Our self-limiting belief systems prevent us from living up to our full potential. We doubt our abilities and strengths and tell ourselves that we are being "safe" or "logical" by perpetuating the status quo in our lives. What doubts can you release in your life? Fearlessness is not to live without fear, but to move and grow in spite of it. Move through it rather that running from it. Is it time to change jobs or careers? Is it time to let go of a relationship that has run its course? Is it time to climb that mountain you've only observed from afar? Is it time to travel? How can you enrich your current existence, move beyond fear and doubt and live the path of the Garuda? I would love to hear from you!

Let's support each other on this path.

Cultivate Joy, the Lion's Path

Jennifer Oechsner

As most of you know, I recently returned from a 3 week journey in Nepal. Two weeks of that journey were spent co-leading a yoga and meditation retreat with Kimi Marin. Upon my return I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the experience. So often when we return from a vacation we bask in our more relaxed existence for a short time and then quickly return to our patterns of stress, sleep deprivation and old thought patterns. Following my recent journey I have been focused on keeping the emotional and energetic benefits I received from this fantastic adventure at the forefront of my mind. 

One of the feelings that comes to mind when I reflect is joy. Joy for being able to visit such a fascinating country, joy for sharing the experience with a dear friend, joy for the new friends I made, and joy for the laughter we found along the way. Joy isn't just about having fun, but also about the deeper spiritual connection it cultivates. A connection with ourselves and with others.

The Shambhala tradition references the importance of joy in our lives. The path of Shambhala is about awakening to the potential in our lives. In part, this potential is awakened by living a meaningful and joyful life. Within the Shambhala tradition, this joy is represented by the snow lion. The snow lion breathes the fresh air high in the Himalaya, free from the cage we often place ourselves in. We cultivate joy through discipline. Discipline can be practiced in many ways, through meditation, yoga, creating art, living a healthy lfe, or service to others. Each of these paths can lead us down the path of the snow lion, a life of meaningful joy. To find this joy, we must be mindful in our endeavors. Mindful pursuits that feed the soul cultivate joy, help us to realize all that we are capable of, and make us better citizens of the world.

Your weekly yoga practice is a great place to cultivate a mindful life. When you come to your mat, have fun, be joyful and be mindful. Embody the snow lion.

Journey to Nepal...a journey within

Jennifer Oechsner

As many of you know, I am co-leading a yoga and meditation retreat to Nepal with Kimi Marin.

This adventure has been in the works for a year and it's a project Kimi and I are so excited to be working together on. Our partner in Nepal, Asahi Treks and Adventures, has been a great pleasure to work with. Thank you, Kumar for all of your help. This trip is another dream come true for me and as I prepare, I find myself filled with butterflies and joy. I encourage you to put your dreams on paper, make a plan and set the wheels in motion. Find what brings you joy and gratification and keep it in sight.

Arranging the volunteer component of Journey to Nepal has also been a moving experience for me, an experience from and of the heart. I am grateful for our guests' enthusiasm for this endeavor and for the many individuals who contributed to the cause. I embrace the opportunity to travel to this enchanting country and practice Karma Yoga, yoga of service.  I am grateful for each individual who is joining us on this journey.

I will be posting messages and photos periodically throughout the trip. Follow me on Facebook for updates on our adventures. 

Each year I will offer a new opportunity to travel with me to an amazing location.  Next year's retreat is already in the works.....Journey to Ecuador! Save the dates, March 23-April 1. It is going to be another amazing adventure with yoga, reiki, meditation, horseback riding in the jungle and more. This trip will also include Karma Yoga. Stay tuned for details.