All posts tagged: meditation

Summer Desert Retreat ~ Harmony Vista

Every year when summer hits the city, we start hearing the call of the desert. It might not seem like the obvious destination when the thermostat reaches 90° but for us here at Sirens & Scoundrels, summer and the deep desert have become our favorite pairing for a soul-filling and soul-fueling retreat with friends. We pack up all the fresh organic summer fruit we can find, plenty of iced beverages, pool floaties and board games and head out into the hot desert days to relax and unplug at our most beloved California summering spot—Joshua Tree. Our favorite source for the perfect desert hacienda is  Joshua Desert Retreats. With nine properties spread across the east desert, we have been slowly meandering our way through each one over the years. JDR properties are much like staying at the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo where each room has its own unique theme and eventually you just want to try them all. The same goes for JDR, except here each entire house has its own theme. We …

Harnessing the Energy of 2018: Year of the High Priestess

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl  // Graphic Design by Alex Rice As 2018 continues to unfold, a literal new day is dawning before us. Over the course of human history, most civilizations and wisdom traditions developed ways to measure the fluctuating cycles of time and the unique energy held within each year, giving people tools and insights to best utilize those energies to help them on their own path. Most forms of astrology break up eras according to the twelve signs of the zodiac and their corresponding cosmic constellations. The Chinese Zodiac divides years according to twelve animals along with a corresponding element (fire, wood, water, metal, earth). Numerology assigns every year a number from 1-9, each with its own universal energetic property, derived by adding together the numbers in the year until it reduces down to a single digit. Tarot utilizes the roman numerical Major Arcana cards to distinguish the universal stages of the hero’s journey held within each new year. So, why is any of this important? Because we can harness these annual …

Sacred Art of Self Love

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Christina Huntington To kick off the Season of Love at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’re bringing back our most requested subject: The Sacred Art of Self Love. Before we can ever be available to truly love anyone or anything else, we must first learn to love ourselves. When we know how to love ourselves as a daily practice, we enter into our relationships whole, balanced and complete, able to joyfully give and receive with ease instead of just take take take take taking without ever feeling fulfilled. The following super simple and practical tools will help you start transforming your entire relationship to yourself today. Dive in, be gentle and enjoy the LOVE!! The Sacred Art of Self Love ~ As we deep dive into all things L-O-V-E this month, we come face-to-face with the most crucial form of love to master: self love. It’s easy to look at seemingly endless social media feeds overflowing with infinite selfies and moment-to-moment replays of every minuscule activity as if everyone is engaged in broadcasting …

The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017 ~ Los Angeles

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Eclipse photos & vintage stills subject to copyright // Contributing photographs by: Adam Grimes & Becca Murray It’s the Great American Total Solar Eclipse!! Unless you’ve been summer vacaying on another planet, I’m sure you’ve heard by now that we’re having a solar eclipse on Monday. A big one. Big because it’s the first time in a jillion years that America is in the path of totality (which means where the sun will be visible fully eclipsed). The last time the U.S. experienced a total eclipse of the sun from coast to coast was on June 8, 1918. And the last time a total eclipse touched ONLY American soil (like this one) was on June 13, 1257. Just to clarify, that’s the 13th century. So yeah…it’s kind of a big deal. If you’re reading this, then I’m assuming you didn’t already book your ticket to Portland five years ago to ensure that you would be smack dab in the middle of the path of totality. If you had, you’d know that …

The Sacred Art of Self Love

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Christina Huntington As we deep dive into all things L-O-V-E this month, we come face-to-face with the most crucial form of love to master: self love. It’s easy to look at seemingly endless social media feeds overflowing with infinite selfies and moment-to-moment replays of every minuscule activity as if everyone is engaged in broadcasting their own 24/7 reality series and think that self love is maybe the last thing we need to be worried about right now. But self promotion and even self confidence are very different from self love. As “look-at-me” culture skyrockets, studies show that our collective self worth seems to be plummeting to an all-time low, proving true the old adage that comparison is the thief of joy. In my work as a meditation teacher and spiritual counselor, self love is Issue Zero…the singular point of origin of all our issues, disappointments and challenges. Of course a healthy relationship to self love is something we all want. And if it were easy, we would all …

Make Your Life a Love Story!

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Video by  Sarah Prikryl & Christina Huntington Happy Valentine’s Day!! Sure, it may be a holiday that was made up to sell greeting cards, chocolate hearts and long stemmed roses…but we are always huge fans of any excuse to celebrate and spread more love in the world! But if we’re being totally honest, even just the word “love” can be challenging for a lot of people. We all have different interpretations of what love is from our own history and experience—how we’ve “gotten” it, how we’ve “lost” it and how well we have or have not managed to give it to others and ourselves. Love can also feel like a lot of pressure, inundated since birth with so many versions of what love “should” look like from, let’s face it, not necessarily the best sources. It’s left many people feeling confused about how to love and be loved in a healthy way that leaves us feeling joyful, secure, fulfilled and freely self-expressed. While, oh yeah…also having some fun. This is the simplest guide …

Setting Goals From Your Soul

Words by Alicia Lipinski of Quietfire Healing // Photography by Sarah Prikryl  //  Featured Photo by Gina Cholick Welcome to February, dear Sirens and Scoundrels! Around this time, you might be revisiting the goals and intentions that you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. You might be congratulating yourself for all the progress that you’ve already made or you might be berating yourself for not having done more or for already falling off the wagon. Or if you’re like me and many of my clients right now, you might see so many things that you want to change, both in your life and the world at large, that you feel paralyzed with fear and indecision and don’t know where to start. There is a very real, biological reason for this. In times of stress or panic, our sympathetic nervous system kicks in, sending our body into fight or flight mode. This response doesn’t require being chased by a bear. It can be triggered by a daily pile-up of stress at work or in your personal …

What Now? ~ Your Positive Action Plan!

Words & Meditation by Christina Huntington // Photography & Video Images by Sarah Prikryl So that happened. We officially had a transfer of power this weekend. We now find ourselves in a nation seemingly never more divided…while simultaneously never more united. As with everything in life, it all comes and goes in seasons. Each season leads into the next in cycles we don’t have to fully understand to know that eventually life will always find a way of rebalancing itself. Amongst massive change and upheaval, it is more important than ever to find time to care for yourself and those around you. To focus on what you want to be creating, what positive forward movement you can make towards actualizing your hopes, dreams and visions into reality. It may feel like a long road ahead, but you can start with just a few small steps. Here’s a helpful guide on what to do this week and in the weeks to come to take care of your heart, your dreams & your world. SELF CARE SURVIVAL TIPS~ Just through …

New Year’s Eve 2016 Hitlist

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by  Sarah Prikryl Well, 2016 is wrapping up with quite a bang. While many of us are still feeling the bumps and bruises of these last few months, it is as important as ever to continue to celebrate life, community and all the people we hold most dear. It’s time to send 2016 off and welcome in a brand new year. And we’ve got our top picks to ring in 2017 to match whatever mood you’re in. From roaring 20’s decadence to soul-full reflection to cozy self-care, we’ve got you covered! Whatever you get up to, take care of your self, your hearts and the hearts of all those around you. Remember, we are all in this together! Here’s to a New Year!! CELEBRATIONS ~ KCRW’s annual 1920’s-themed “Prohibition” party in Downtown’s gorgeous Union Station is always a top pick for a great NYE out in LA. Guests dress up in their Gatsby finest for a night of dancing to DJs, jazz and live bands while enjoying an open bar and …

Your De-stressing Remedy ~ Guided Gratitude Meditation

No matter what side of the line you stand on, we can all agree it’s been a crazy few weeks for America. We find ourselves in a country incredibly divided, which for many people was shocking in its immediacy. As a meditation coach, I have been hearing non-stop stories of irreparable rifts between friends, loved ones, co-workers and family members that exploded in a seeming instant. Fear, anxiety, sorrow, heartache and anger pervade all over our social media pages and in our conversations as people fight, unfollow and unfriend each other. As a country, we are in a 24-7 argument with ourselves right now. And people are collectively exhausted. To move through this difficult time, it’s important to have some tools to help navigate these choppy waters. Now more than ever, it is vitally important to stay grounded, practice self care and connect to the things that you love to stay in balance and not get swept away in all of the emotional turmoil of the moment. So take your fingers off the keyboard, step …

The Grand Canyon ~ Arizona

If you were a kid growing up on the West Coast, pretty much everyone has a story about being packed up into the car between siblings, Mom and Dad popping in a John Denver cassette tape on repeat and making the long desert drive out to see the Grand Canyon, where you took a bunch of photos that got tucked away in an album, never to be seen again. As a native Angeleno, I somehow made it into my third decade without ever seeing our great Canyon—a strange and shocking fact to most people, including myself. I was equally shocked when last year out of nowhere, I suddenly had a burning urge to see it. It just hit deep in my soul one day, like a command. As a meditation teacher, I’ve learned to listen to these Soul Calls, even if they don’t seem to make sense. So with one adventurous friend in tow, I headed out to see what this whole Grand Canyon thing was all about—knowing it’d probably be a very different experience seeing …

Crystal Sound Bath ~ The Integratron

When summer rolls around, it means one thing: time to head to the desert. We have a long-standing tradition with our friends to pile up and make a pilgrimage out to Joshua Tree each June. Something about being in the desert around the Summer Solstice just sets your soul at ease and acts like a spiritual reset button for the rest of the year ahead. There’s no better way to gain clarity and focus than to unplug and get quiet for a bit. Our first stop is always to The Integratron for a pop-up crystal sound bath. What’s that, you ask? Read on to find out how you, too, can experience a chakra-balancing musical meditation in an alien-crafted perfect acoustic sound dome… Go get your Summer Soul Adventure on! Happy Summering!! ~love, Sirens & Scoundrels Do you feel like your life is really missing an alien-designed-cell-regenerating-perfect-acoustic-chamber-and-possible-time-machine-in-the-middle-of-the-desert? If so, we’ve got you covered. The Integratron—that afore-mentioned chamber—is kinda unlike any other experience you’ll have on Planet Earth. People throw around words like “magical” and “mystical”. We’d …

Eastern Sierras, CA

When we met up with Daniel Mansfield of The Adventure Project for our San Bernardino National Forest mountain hike last month, we arrived with one burning question in mind. Our common mission is to get people out and exploring all the amazingness the West has to offer. But Daniel’s mission is, more specifically, to get people out into the mountains. So the one thing we needed to know was…if he could choose just one place in all of California to take someone to experience the Best of the West, where would it be? Without missing a beat, his answer: The Eastern Sierras. We were a bit surprised by this, having never heard particularly much about them ourselves. Everyone knows and loves the Sequoias, Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Bear—all our resident beauties. But “Eastern Sierras” wasn’t readily rolling off the tongues of our hike-loving friends. We had to know: what was it about THESE mountains that made them stand out so far above the rest? There was only one way to answer that question. Road trip. Three weeks later, …

Just Float ~ Sensory Deprivation Chamber

Our mission at Sirens & Scoundrels is to go find every cool off-the-beaten-path adventure and bring it back to you so you can try it yourself. As a meditation teacher, I’m always especially curious about anything that promotes increased presence and self-awareness. So what do those things have to do with locking your naked self in a pitch-black soundproof weightless saltwater chamber voluntarily? Well, step inside and let us show you… Sensory deprivation tanks originated back in the 1950’s as a means to research the brain’s dependence—or lack thereof—on external stimuli. What they discovered is that controlled sensory deprivation (the removal of all external stimulation) over short periods of time had the same effects as entering a meditative state—moving from beta or alpha brainwaves into theta waves for deep relaxation. Starting in the 1980’s, centers began providing float tanks to the public seeking their restorative and rejuvenating properties. Over the years, we have heard about several float centers in L.A. But we knew the time had come to dive in with the opening of Just …

The Lake Shrine ~ Pacific Palisades, CA

A picturesque wooden windmill resting atop a blue lagoon. Gushing waterfalls cascading down lush green tropical hillsides. White swans floating gracefully along a glassy lake as dragonflies skip and chase each other. A sprawling rose garden bursting in full Technicolor rainbow bloom. And a sweet gentle hush of stillness so deep you’d swear you entered another dimension. And maybe you’re right. There is definitely something other-dimensional about this place. But luckily, you don’t have to book an international or intergalactic flight to experience all of its tranquil magic. This little piece of hidden Heaven is right here in our own backyard. Tucked away behind an unassuming wood gate just above where Sunset meets PCH in Pacific Palisades, the Lake Shrine Temple has been helping people cultivate inner stillness since its origins in 1950. Founded by yogi Paramahansa Yogananda as the Los Angeles flagship of his Self Realization Fellowship, the Lake Shrine Temple’s 10-acre grounds provide the perfect environment for contemplation, meditation, inner reflection and connecting to whatever Higher Power you believe in. Open to people …

Integratron ~ Landers, CA

Do you feel like your life is really missing an alien-designed-cell-regenerating-perfect-acoustic-chamber-and-possible-time-machine-in-the-middle-of-the-desert? If so, we’ve got you covered. The Integratron—that afore-mentioned chamber—is kinda unlike any other experience you’ll have on Planet Earth. People throw around words like “magical” and “mystical”. We’d say it’s insanely cool and relaxing. A huge white dome in an empty stretch of desert in Landers, CA just outside of Joshua Tree, you could easily believe this thing is ready for lift-off at any moment. The folklore is definitely other-worldly. It goes something like this: in 1953, George Van Tassel supposedly got instructions from an alien race from Venus declaring that humans were the most annoying species in the galaxy because we spend our entire lives being ignorant and destructive and by the time we finally learn what life is really all about, we die. What a waste! Their plan was to help us humans live longer, so we could actually do some good in the world and evolve human consciousness beyond being the bratty teenagers of the galaxy. Tassel’s idea was to …