March is officially here! For many of us that means spring is almost here, Mardi Gras is coming up and so is St. Patrick’s Day. For those of us who work in the digital space and love interactive technology, March means SXSW! Last year SXSW Interactive attracted over 30,000 attendees to Austin and I was one of them. I brought my yoga knowledge to SXSW and had the honor of teaching fellow tech-crazed and social media savvy attendees at the conference. It was great to be surrounded by so many like minded people in the technology space and even better to create a deeper connection with those who are also interested in yoga and meditation.
I’m very excited to announce that I’m returning to SXSW Interactive this year and I’m once again hosting a yoga and a mediation session. I also just announced that I’m a SweatGuru expert when I shared 5 yoga lessons that will help you grow your business. Now I’ve partnered with SweatGuru to help you stay fit at the festival. At a conference filled with free BBQ and booze, sometimes it’s hard to keep up your healthy lifestyle, but it’s possible and here are some ways to do it in my SweatGuru Guide to Staying Fit at SXSW Interactive.
1. Practice yoga or try yoga for the very first time- Take my yoga class at SXSW Interactive. Yes you heard right, yoga classes are included with your conference badge! Yoga was developed thousands of years ago as a way to prepare the mind and body for enlightenment. What better way to prepare yourself for all the new ideas, insights, and people you will encounter at SXSW? I’ll emphasize techniques that are easy to replicate at home and at work. This is an all levels class. Whether it’s your first time practicing yoga of you’re a seasoned yogi, you’ll enjoy this fun and relaxing class. No special clothing or equipment needed, just come as you are! My class is Saturday March 8th at 9:30am in room 8A at the Convention Center. You can add it to your schedule here: SXSW Yoga
If you can’t make it to my class or would like to take more than one class, daily yoga classes are offered. Just search “SXSW Yoga” on the schedule to find all the classes.
2. Take a break to sit there and just do nothing aka Meditate!- “Meditation- It’s not what you think” is my favorite meditation quote. I saw it on a bumper sticker once and thought, what a perfect way to describe meditation! Like any powerful tool, the human brain needs a bit of a tune-up now and then. Take a break from the bustle of SXSW and give your mind and body a chance to assimilate all the new ideas and energy at the conference. This will be an all levels class, where I’ll teach a variety of techniques. My meditation class is Sunday March 9th at 11am in Room 8A at the Convention Center. You can add it to your schedule here: SXSW Meditation
If you can’t make it to my class or would like to learn different meditation techniques, daily classes are offered. Just search “SXSW Meditation” on the schedule to find all the classes.
3. Connect with like-minded peopled- Sometimes staying healthy is easier if you meet others who have the same goal in mind. Here is a list of some panels and sessions that are related to fitness and health. Most likely the people interested in these sessions are also the ones who lead an active lifestyle like you. Learn about the role of technology in fitness while networking with other fitness enthusiasts.
- Saturday March 8th, 9:30am- Finding Your Fit at SXSW Meet Up (I’m bummed this meetup is at the same time as my yoga class but I’m happy to see so many options for fitness at SXSW)
- Saturday March 8th, 3:30pm- A Fun, Fit Future: Social Media Takes on Fitness
- Saturday March 8th, 5pm- Connected Fitness 2.0: Shaping Healthy Behaviors
- Monday March 10th, 9:30am- Are We Smarter than the Dinosaurs? (This session isn’t related to fitness, but the main present Jason Kessler from NASA has a passion for also teaching yoga and meditation and I personally love seeing what other yogis are doing)
- Monday March 10th, 5pm- Fitness Wearables & the Quantifiable Self
- Monday March 10th, 5pm- I Sing the Body Digital: The Quantified Self
- Tuesday March 11th, 12:30pm- YogaDotCalm: Streamlining Productivity & Focus
4. Snack smart- So many companies will be luring you to check out their event, booth or attraction with free food. I know it can be tempting to eat every bite of free food that comes across our mouths but do your best to eat the free food in moderation. Here are a few snacks I recommend you pack in your suitcase: small bag of raw almonds, cashews or another favorite nut, apples, clementine oranges (easy to peel!) and maybe some healthy snack bars (be careful with snack bars though, some of them have as much sugar and processed ingredients as a candy bar. Look for ones that are all natural with organic ingredients). If you stay fueled with healthy food throughout the day you’re less likely to overeat when presented with the BBQ buffet and dessert bar.
5. Drink plenty of water- Water is your best friend at SXSW! And no, an alcoholic drink on the rocks doesn’t count as water. “Drink water” is such a simple tip yet it’s one of the top reasons why people may feel light headed or sick during or after the conference. A few tips on doing this:
- I always travel with a small reusable water bottle. This way, if water is available I’m ready to fill up. Instead of ordering a cocktail on the plane I always ask the flight attendant to fill up my bottle with water. I have even seen many airports now with a filtered water fountains.
- If you normally drink a lot of coffee, instead of drinking the extra cup of coffee grab a cold water bottle. The temperature of the water will wake you up and the consumption of the water will provide fuel to refresh your body.
- If you have access to a car, stock up on a few big gallons of water to stash in your room. End your night and start your day drinking it. This way you’ll always avoid those overpriced hotel prices for water and have plenty on hand.
- We all know open bars are readily available at SXSW. To me, water at those open bars is even more valuable than an extra shot. Replace one of your drinks with a bottle of water.
Make sure you find me at the conference and Tweet me to let me know if you can make one of my sessions. I’ll be giving away some fun prizes and swag from SweatGuru that you won’t want to miss. If you have any other tips for staying fit at SXSW Interactive, I would love to hear them.
I’m very happy to announce that I’m officially a SweatGuru expert. I’ll be sharing my knowledge and insight on many topics related to fitness, yoga, health and even marketing and business on their blog. Let me give you a little background on my partnership with SweatGuru. I first connected with their team back in October when I attended the awesome Tech Cocktail Celebrate event in Downtown Las Vegas. I was immediately drawn to their company because it is both tech and fitness related. Since my intention this year is to help fitness professionals authentically grow their business, working together is a perfect marriage.
First of all, what is SweatGuru? SweatGuru is making access to fitness easier for both the fitness consumer and fitness professional. Their online portal provides an easy way for fitness professionals to schedule classes, communicate with students and accept payments. For the fitness consumer who wants to stay active and take classes, it’s a great resource for discovering new classes in the area, tracking your favorite instructor and learning about health and fitness resources.
Sure it just sounds like they are a booking system for the fitness industry. However, that’s not the case. What makes SweatGuru stand out is their focus on building a strong community of fitness leaders and fitness enthusiasts. They have a team of SweatGuru Experts which I’m grateful to be a part of who contribute to their motivational and inspiring blog. Their blog is chock full of resources for anyone interested in health and fitness. My first post on SweatGuru is once again, me being authentic in combining my two passions for marketing and yoga. Without further ado, I present to you 5 Yoga Lessons that will Help you Grow your Business (click on link for full post):
Speaking from firsthand experience, my yoga practice has significantly improved my quality of life, including the success of my business and below is how it’s possible.
1. Setting intentions- Having a clear intention is an important part of any successful business.
2. Build a Strong Foundation- Have you ever tried to do a balancing pose in yoga but find yourself immediately falling over? This often happens because you haven’t set up a strong foundation.
3. Take time to re-energize- Sitting in front of a computer all day can be very straining on your body. Rather than take a shot of caffeine, I use my yoga knowledge I’ve figured out poses I can do right at my desk to regroup.
4. Being flexible- On of my favorite quotes that applies to both my business and my yoga practice is “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape”. I have learned that in yoga, flexibility doesn’t just come from my body but also my mind.
5. Be authentic- Yoga can be intimidating. Most people think of yoga and what comes to mind is crazy poses that seem nearly impossible for the normal human body. It’s important to practice yoga in a way that’s realistic and comfortable for your own body.
To get the full post and tips on how these yoga lessons translate to helping your business, head over to my SweatGuru post here. If you are a fitness professional or just a fitness enthusiast and you’re interested in learning more about how SweatGuru can help you, please let me know and I’m happy to share my experience with you and get you set up on their system. It’s completely free to sign up!
And also, to give you a little sneak peek of my upcoming ventures, SXSW Interactive is coming up again next week. I’ll be back at SXSW teaching yoga and meditation. I’ll also be representing SweatGuru and have some fun surprises in store, so please stay tuned!
I continue to be amazed at how technology is changing the way we travel. Car sharing services continue to pop up as higher demand causes more competition and better options and promotions for consumers.
You’ve already heard me talk about Lyft. Sidecar has now rolled into town too. Sidecar is similar to its competitors Lyft and UberX. The service is based on a mobile app you download. One benefit of Sidecar is that you don’t have to connect your Facebook profile. I know a lot of people are concerned with privacy issues when connecting their personal Facebook profile to different applications. I also know a few people have decided to either cancel their Facebook profile or not sign up for one. Those people weren’t able to use some of the other car services, but Sidecar is accessible even without a Facebook profile.
Another benefit that Sidecar has over its competitors and even cabs is that you know the cost of your ride upfront and can agree to the price before riding. This saves you from being too nervous that the ride will cost more if there’s traffic or if the driver gets lost. It also makes splitting the cost of a ride easier if you have more than one passenger.
1. Download the Sidecar app on your iPhone or Android http://www.side.cr
2. You’ll be asked to sign up with all of your information. This includes your contact information and also your credit card number. Don’t worry though, you will never be charged unless you are notified beforehand to confirm the charge.
3. To request a ride you will enter both your pick up and drop off location and receive a price.
4. After your request is submitted you’ll be matched up with a driver in your area. You’ll see a photo of the driver and their car. Then you can track through GPS on your phone their location and approximate arrival time.
5. Hop in your Sidecar and once you arrive, you’ll pay with the touch of a button.
If you’d like an even better explaination about Sidecar, here is an interview with Sidecar founder, Sunil Paul on Fox. I have partnered with Sidecar to offer free rides for first time users. After you download the app, there will be an area to enter a promotional code. Enter my code: MyMelodie and you’ll receive $20 for free off your first ride. $20 can get you a long way but you must remember to enter the code before requesting your first ride!
Have you tried Sidecar or any other car services? Let me know your thoughts. And remember use code: MyMelodie for $20 off your first ride! You must enter the code before requesting your first ride.
2014 is here and I’m ready! Before I start posting about 2104, I want to take a few moments to reflect on 2013. As most of you know, 13 is my lucky number so I knew that 2013 would be my lucky year and it was on many levels. I had an abundance of fun, exciting, educational and memorable experiences that I’ll cherish forever. To highlight a few things that happened both professionally and personally, this is my 4th annual year in review.
I used to be quite the runner in high school. I ran cross country and varsity track all 4 years! As an adult I have cut back on running but still love accepting unique opportunities to run. I kicked off my January by running a fun 5K on the beach! YMCA Camp Surf hosted the run for employees. I teach yoga for the YMCA and am grateful for the many cool events they offer employees. What made me so happy about this run is that I was running outdoors, on the beach with the sun shining bright in the winter!
I have been teaching and creating Social Media Marketing classes at National University for over 2 years now. I learn so much from my students so I’m grateful for this job. I was invited to host a special workshop at the National University San Diego Spectrum campus. I was honored to speak to an ambitious group of entrepreneurs, staff and students at an event titled, Social Media for Entrepreneurs. This really motivated to continue my career as a professional speaker.
The Online Marketing Summit comes to San Diego every year. I was once again honored to be invited. This is one of my favorite educational events because not only is it hosted right here in beautiful San Diego, I always connect with many ambitious leaders in my industry and I learn so many new things that I can apply to my career. I also love sharing what I learn. Here are the top 5 things I learned at the Online Marketing Summit in 2013. One of the favorite things I learned, that I still plan to do is to brand my laptop!
This was my second year attending SXSW Interactive. In 2012 I was hired by AT&T to run a social media promotion. In 2013 I had the honor of being invited as a speaker. I hosted a wellness meetup, taught a yoga class and a meditation class. I am truly blessed that I had an opportunity to teach yoga to fellow tech-crazed and social media savvy attendees at the conference. It was so great to be surrounded by so many like minded people in the technology space and even better to create a deeper connection with those who are also interested in yoga. SXSW is one of my all time favorite conferences, here are my top 10 favorite things about SXSW 2013.
Foursquare Day on April 16th tops the list of my favorite geek holiday (other geek holidays include Pi Day on March 14th and Star Wars Day on May 4th). My fourth year hosting a Foursquare Day event was very special. The event was bigger and better than ever because I was able to partner with some of San Diego’s top social media organizations including the Social Media Club. The event had an educational session, a Foursquare check in crawl, food and drink specials, prizes and best of all, great company.
I always say over and over again that social media is to thank for my many memorable adventures. Klout Perks has rewarded me with things such as an all-expense paid vacation at Terranea Resort and this year they gave me another offering I couldn’t refuse. Klout partnered with Sony to create an experiential event for influencers to try out the Sony Nex 3 camera and Sony Action Camera. We had a full day which started with a photography workshop, then a shooting adventure at the Birch Aquarium and then we went up in the air paragliding! The experience of flying was surreal. I’m so happy that I was able to capture my adventures of flying in San Diego on film.
In 2012, I set the intention of combining my passions of marketing and yoga into my career. I’ve been living out my intention by educating the yoga industry on how they can use social media to grow their business. I hosted a Digital Media Now for Yogis workshop at Bird Rock Yoga.
May was a busy month for my speaking career. I was a featured speaker at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital Symposium where I taught Veterinarians how to use social media to promote their business. I’m grateful for being hired to speak at different types of conferences and my ability customize my workshops to fit the needs of each audience.
I successfully hosted another Digital Media Now for Yogis workshop at Riffs Acoustic Music and Yoga Yard. Riffs is very unique. It’s both a music shop and a yoga studio right on the beach! I’m definitely looking forward to hosting more workshops at yoga studios in the new year.
I was honored with an invite to be the featured speaker by at the Asian Business Association’s Rice Club Luncheon. I spoke on social media’s importance for business in the 21st century. It makes me happy that I’m able to share my knowledge on marketing and social media to many diffrent groups, including this one.
I am surprised that I have never mentioned Comic Con in my blog. Well, there’s no better time than now. I love having this event in my city. San Diego is transformed into a fantasy land every July and there is so much positive energy downtown. Some of the things I experienced included a rooftop party hosted by Mashable, connecting with my awesome LA friends while watching one of them present a panel and overall just being exposed to so much creativity in my veryown city.
Fitness is a very important aspect of my life. I volunteered at the IDEA conference where I connected with many successful fitness leaders. I also learned about the newest fitness products, ideas and work outs such as yoga on a surfboard!
I am always interested in opportunities to learn more and expand my list of skills so when the YMCA offered a Cycle Training, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I earned my certificate to teach cycle classes and I’m happy to add this feather to my cap.
One the things I’d like to do in the near future is join the University Club. I’ve been invited there a handful of times for events and was invited to lunch here by their membership director . The view is breath taking. The food is delicious and everyone I’ve met who is a part of this club is very smart, successful and inspiring. I have not joined yet because it has not been a priority in my business budget, but I did want to put it out there into the world that I do want to become a member so what better place to share that than on my blog?
Oh September and the previous months since April were also filled with attending Padres games to cheer for my home team!
I took my favorite Vegas trip which was made possible by Tech Cocktail. I was the lucky winner of their Twitter contest. I won a full pass for the Tech Cocktail Celebrate conference and also the first annual Life is Beautiful Festival. I spent the entire trip in Downtown Las Vegas, which is quite a change from the strip. Tony Hsieh of Zappos is leading the “Downtown Project”. He’s investing350 million dollars into reviving Downtown Las Vegas. The Tech Cocktail Celebrate conference was focused on showcasing innovative startups. As always, I love to share what I learn. Here are 6 tips for effectively marketing your startup. Tech Cocktail Celebrate and had a partnership with The Life is Beautiful Festival. The event was filled with art, food and music. I love watching the Food Network and had a chance to meet my favorite celebrity chefs including Iron Chef Cat Cora!
October was also a very special month for me because it was National Eczema Awareness Month. I have had Eczema my entire life and for the first time, I felt compelled to share my experience and raise awareness so we can come closer to finding a cure. I worked with the National Eczema Association to create posts online, pass out stickers and bracelets.
Although Eczema Awareness Month is in October, I want to make sure this disease continues to get support and awareness all year long. I created an Eczema Fundraiser called ITCHING FOR A CURE to raise money so that we can finally find a cure for Eczema! So far I have raised over $700 from many generous individuals and I will continue to spread the word and raise money until the day I see a cure. I have even told many people that if I ever win the lottery I will invest my winnings into finding a cure. I really believe it can be done and I’m thankful for every single person who has made a donation to support my cause. Donations for Itching for a Cure are still being accepted here.
Fit X is an amazing fitness company that I’m fortunate to be part of through having them as a marketing client and also teaching yoga for their organization. I ended the year with an invite to speak at their all staff meeting. I created an interactive workshop called Digital Media Now for Fitness Pros- How to Pack Your Classes and Inspire Students, where I not only got the staff moving with a good work out, but also taught them marketing and social media tips at the same time.
As soon as I found out “Selfie” was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionary, I decided that it was time to share my own selfie experience and tips. Here are tips to usher in the new year with sensational selfies.
December is always a month to remember because I celebrate being alive for another year, which is a miracle in itself. I had another amazing birthday filled with luck, love and wonderful friends. My birthday wishes are already coming true!
Well, the highlights of my 2013 are up! This post doesn’t even begin to describe all the things I experienced and emotions I felt . While I’m sad my lucky year has come to an end, I am excited for new beginnings in 2014. May you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous 2014. Happy New Year!
Oxford Dictionary named “Selfie” the word of the year for 2013. This perfectly captures our social media crazed generation. If you don’t know what a selfie is, Oxford Dictionaries defines it as:
(n.) a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
I recently posted this selfie to show the magic of photography and that before and after photos can sometimes be misleading.
It’s a before and after photo of me “losing 15 lbs” with both photos taken less than 15 minutes apart. I captioned it with a few “Selfie tips”. The photo generated some buzz and soon Stacey Ross of San Diego Bargain Mama reached out to me to see if she could include me in her article about selfies for TheOnlineMom.com. My photo was one of the ones that inspired her to make sure everyone could usher in the New Year with the perfect selfie. She presents 7 tips for taking sensational selfies. Her first tip is courtesy of me:
1. Shed excess weight almost instantly! Social media educator and founder of Marketing Melodie, Melodie Tao, shared with her colleagues secrets that many marketers might not ever wish to: “Wooohooo! I Lost 15lbs in 15 minutes! It’s that easy! And also proof that ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos are misleading. On the left ‘before’ photo, I zoomed in and was slouching and sticking my stomach out. Fifteen minutes later on the right ‘after’ photo, I zoomed out, stood up straight and threw in the ‘skinny arm on hip trick!’ You can now see how much we actually have control, even before Photoshop is used!” Yes, angles, arm positioning, posture and zoom, made my before and after possible.
Other tips include:
2. Consider the lighting
3. Improve your headshots immediately
4. Take off the phone cover
5. Use your arm to frame the best image
6. Play around with lenses and filters
7. Lastly, if you’re a mom: Sensor your kids!
To read the full post and learn how to ensure you help Oxford’s word of the year live up to its name for the rest of 2013 and into the new year, click here.
Thanks again to Stacey for featuring me in her selfie article. I do hope that you learn at least one or two new tips you can apply to your next potential Facebook profile photo. For a few more laughs, here is my favorite late night comedian, Jimmy Kimmel asking pedistrians on the street if their profile photo is a selfie.