My Post 50 Yoga Journey: It’s About Mind, Body, and Spirit

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Welcome to yoga training Methods & Techniques I,” said my instructor B as she addressed our first weekend class at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in Camden, NJ. “We come together as strangers, but we leave as a tight-knit community. These are your sisters.”

There are five women, or should I say five yoginis (female yoga practitioners are called yogini, male are yogi), in the YTT200 program this year and by May 2016, after 200 hours of training, we will be eligible for our first yoga teacher certificate from Yoga Alliance.

Discovering My True Self
I was excited and anxious to begin training. I started practicing yoga about seven years ago, after my husband passed away. It helped me heal my “mind, body, and spirit” and work through my grief. It continues to provide an outlet for “letting go” and “slowing down” – which is an on-going challenge for me since retiring from my fast-paced full-time job.

“Explore your own creative expression as a yoga teacher, ” said B. “Don’t worry about anything. I’m looking at your growth during this training.”

Om, om, om, I breathed in and began to relax on my mat. This journey I am embarking on for the next nine months is sacred. Am I ready to discover more about my own true self? Am I prepared for what lies deep within?

Yes, yes, yes, it’s a bit scary delving deep, yet at the same time freeing. Plus, I’m eager to improve my own strength, flexibility, and balance during my life after 50 and share all the benefits that yoga has to offer with others,

yoga training, yoga mat

I was ready for my yoga training with my mat, cushion, blanket, strap, and blocks.

The Eight-Fold Path
B explained the “Eight-Fold Path” Of Ashtanga Yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, who lived and wrote a long, long time ago between what is thought to be 200 BC – 200 AD. The guidelines start at the base with Yamas (restraints such as non-violence and truthfulness) and Niyamas (behaviors and observances such as contentment and cleanliness). The path moves up the hierarchy to Asanas (postures), Pranayama (controlling your breath), Pratyahara (where you close your eyes and be with yourself), to Dharana (concentration), to Dhyana (meditation), and finally, to Samadhi (a blissful state of spiritual freedom).

“It is a roadmap to get to Samadhi,” said B. “It can be a life-long journey. There is always a deeper experience.” Am I ready to walk this spiritual path? Yes, yes, yes, I have a strong desire to live a balanced lifestyle — mentally, physically, and emotionally during my second act.

yoga, The Eight-Fold Path of Ashtanga Yoga

Sequencing A Yoga Lesson
During our Saturday session we learned how to create a lesson plan. “Follow the three fold sequencing approach,” said B. “First centering, next content, and finally relaxation/meditation.”

♥ Centering: I sat cross-legged with my body in alignment on a blanket on my mat. Centering can be done lying down too. “It’s about becoming more aware of your body and your breath,” said B. There was much to learn about the breath experience or as a yogini says “pranayama.” Our instructor M would cover more about breathe on Sunday.

yoga training, Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies

Our yoga instructor B taught us how to begin a class with centering.

“Ask students to set an intention and read a quote or piece of poetry or blessing for the beginning or end of practice,” said B. (My intention lately has been gratitude for all that I can do in each moment.)

♥ Content: This is the main portion of a yoga class. As a first step, we learned warm-ups, including the joint-freeing series to massage all the joints in our body from head to toe. Then we studied and practiced the six movements of the spine – back bends, forward folds, side stretches to the right and left, and twists on both sides.

B showed us ways to ensure that our students are safe during all of these poses and we learned how to marry movement with breath. “Breathe steady,” said B. “Whenever you expand your chest, you inhale. Whenever you round your chest you exhale. When you are going up you inhale and when you are going down you exhale.” (I hope my menopausal brain can remember all these steps. It’s a practice Judi! It’s a practice I reminded myself.)

Following warmups, come energizing poses, such as the Warrior series and Sun Salutations. Then cool down poses, like Happy BabyLegs Up the Wall, and Supported Bridge. There will be many poses to learn in the coming months.

yoga, sanskrit, yoga training

There’s a whole new language of yoga to learn.

♥ Relaxation/Meditation: At this point, it was time for Shavasana, one of the most important poses in yoga. It’s when your body takes in all the goodness of the practice and totally relaxes. I reclined on my back with my arms in an A-frame and my legs straight out about shoulder width apart and my feet flopped outward.

B taught us how to do a guided relaxation with an “Awareness Check.” “You take people through each part of the body,” said B. “Begin with the head and go to the feet. Or, start with the feet and go to the head. It takes you away from everything else and allows you to focus on each area.”  We formed buddies and led each other through total body awareness.

Before we left for the day, B guided us with Zen breath counting meditation. “Keep your spine straight and your feet grounded if you are sitting on a chair,” said B. “Don’t lean on the back of the chair or your spine will not be straight.”

Instead of using a chair, I sat cross-legged on my mat with my bottom firmly planted on the earth, spine straight, and the crown of my head towards the sky. Slowly I counted to 10, inhaling on the odd numbers and exhaling on the even. “Then focus on the third eye (the spot between your eyes). Focus on the soft belly. Release and let go,” said B.

To close, we learned a mantra using our hands and our voice, bringing thumbs together at the third eye reminding ourselves to “see the truth,” then index fingers to the mouth reminding ourselves to “speak the truth,” and to the heart center to “always know the truth deep within your heart.”

We bowed our heads and honored each other for what was truly a fulfilling first day of  yoga training, with many more lessons to come.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti, namaste.


Note: In January I took a class on Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga as part of my training. You can read about it in an earlier blog post at My Post 50 Yoga Journey – The First Step.



How To Look Beautiful With Mineral Makeup

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50This week, I’m pleased to bring you an interview with entrepreneur Lisa Liguori, creator of Simple Beauty Minerals. I had never tried mineral makeup until Lisa asked if I wanted to sample a few products. Ever curious about anything to do with beauty and aging gracefully, I was eager to learn more. Plus, I always like talking to post 50 women like Lisa who are doing fun things.

Lisa has 30+ years working in the cosmetic industry with lots to share. Be sure to read to the end because she generously agreed to provide a mineral makeup giveaway to one lucky reader!

Simple Beauty Minerals, mineral makeup, boomer beauty, beauty, life after 50, over 50, post 50 beauty

Lisa Liguori is creator of Simple Beauty Minerals.

Q.Lisa, tell me about your background and why you started your company.
“From the moment I stepped behind that Clinique counter at the age of 17, I fell in love with the industry and it’s potential to help women feel confident and truly beautiful. Not to mention how fun it was to play with all those lotions and potions!

In my 30’s, working for Aveda, I found a way to bridge my two loves: beauty and healthy living. Soon there was a family to love and care for, and my quest for living healthfully deepened. Simple Beauty Minerals was born from that quest, and my love of the world of beauty. One of the most satisfying parts of my day is when I get an email that says “Thank you. I am so glad to have found Simple Beauty Minerals! I feel I have found a safe haven.”

Q. What is the difference between regular makeup and mineral makeup?
 “Minerals have been in cosmetics since the beginning of time, there is nothing new there. What is new, and different is the purity of the ingredient listing. With a high quality, pure brand of mineral makeup you will find just the minerals. There may be a bit of botanicals added in as well, such as chamomile or jojoba oil, but you will not find dyes, lakes (a type of dye), preservatives, or synthetics. Minerals in and of themselves are soothing, healing, provide full coverage, are natural sunscreens and stay on the skin beautifully. Mineral makeup offers a very natural look, and feels so comfortable on the skin.”

Q. How can a post 50 woman use mineral makeup?
It is such a myth that women over 50 should avoid powder makeup. It depends entirely on the brand and formula of the powder. I am over 50 and LOVE my mineral makeup. I don’t feel that I have makeup on, it stays on ALL day, protects my skin from the sun and keeps my skin from adult acne (I get occasional breakouts from traditional makeup). One of the most popular methods of application is the wet method. It is super easy and looks fabulous.”

Q. Why is mineral makeup good for post 50 women?
Again, because it feels so light on the skin and is so protective. You are never at risk of it caking or creeping into lines and wrinkles (let’s face it, we got em). At this stage of my life, I personally don’t like to fuss as much. I may re-apply my lipstick during the day, but outside of that, I don’t want to mess with my face several times a day. I put my makeup on in the morning, I remove it at night. A high quality mineral makeup can do that for you.”

mineral makeup, boomer beauty, beauty, post 50 makeup,  life after 50, over 50, post 50

Mineral makeup is easy to use and provides natural protection from the sun.

Q. I find it difficult to buy makeup online? Any tips for selecting the right color or shade?
We believe in ‘Try Before You Buy’ so I created a Custom Sample Packet for only $5.00 plus $4.00 shipping (we cover some of your shipping for you), so it is super painless at $9.00 to try up to 8 samples. I can help you choose your colors if you like. (Lisa helped me select my colors.) The samples are in your hand within a week, along with a 15% off coupon for your followup order. You get plenty of product to use for several days to really get a feel for what works and what does not. We are only an email away for questions and comments.

I think having several days, in the privacy of your own home, is an even better way to try beauty products, as opposed to a one time demo in the store.”

Q: Any beauty or skin care tips for post 50 women?
 “Let’s see, if I had to choose my top three, I would say:

The right tools are crucial. The quality and type of makeup application brushes you use do make a difference in the outcome of your look and how well the makeup works for you.

Less is more – you don’t need multiple eye shadow colors, one soft shade can be enough. Our coloring softens as we age, so should our makeup color choices, and application.

You don’t need to use an eye liner under your lower eyelashes. Oh, and blend your lip liner in so you don’t see those lines. Wait. I have one more..

What you eat, how much you move your body, and the quality of your sleep have a huge impact on your skin, and thus your beauty and confidence.”

Thanks for all your great advice Lisa. I’ve been using your Embellish Anti-Aging Mineral Night Treatment before I go to bed. Only wish is that it had a magic sleeping potion in it for menopausal women. Any chance of adding some Melatonin? I also like the Peach eye shadow – haven’t tried the Frosted Denim yet.

Finally, don’t forget that life after 50 is not just about being beautiful on the outside. As my favorite style icon Audrey Hepburn once said:

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn was a style and beauty icon inside and out. Her picture hangs in my home.


“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”


Giveaway For A Mini Mineral Makeup Starter Kit
Would you like to win a Mini Mineral Makeup Starter Kit (Valued at $25). Enter the giveaway below by sharing your favorite post 50 makeup or skin care tip.

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My River Cruise on the Douro – A Grand Finale

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It was the last two days of our river cruise on the Douro in Portugal.*

“Tomorrow we will see the most scenic road you can find in the Douro,” said our program director Jorge. “Come along and you will be wowed.” While I couldn’t wait to go on a tour of the wine country, my boyfriend L was happy to stay on board and watch the vineyards from the deck as the Viking Hemming sailed to Pinhão.

Douro River, Portugal, Favaios, Viking River Cruises, life after 50, boomers, boomer travel

We were wowed by the views of the Douro wine country.

Favaios – Home of Muscatel Wine and Four Corners Bread
The small town of Favaios was my favorite spot of the entire week. The village is home to Muscatel wine and four corners bread. We visited a few of the cooperative wineries. Together, they make 30 million bottles of wine per year — most of the bottles are individual size because in Portugal they often combine a small bottle of Muscatel with beer. Muscatel grapes are very sweet and our guide Maria told us that “Muscatel is very good to cure a cold, perhaps because of the honey aroma.” Continue reading


My River Cruise on the Douro – Spotlight on Salamanca

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“Tomorrow we rise early for our excursion to the golden city of Salamanca,” said our program director Jorge on our Viking river cruise on the Douro in Portugal.* “We’re going to Spain,” I said to my boyfriend L. “You’ll finally be able to get an authentic paella. Are you going to join me for this excursion?” “Yes, yes,” said L.

Our Trip To Salamanca
We boarded the bus for a very long two hour ride. L slept, while I looked out the window at the beautiful views of the countryside.

Salamanca, Portugal, VIking River Cruise, boomer travel, post 50 travel

During our free time in the morning, we walked around the city streets:

We went to Museo Art Nouveau where there was a special Coco Chanel exhibition. L stayed outside while I toured the collection of Coco’s fashions – a fun fashionista experience. Continue reading


My River Cruise on the Douro – Breathtaking Views

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“Take me back to Portugal, I miss the picturesque villages, pristine waters, and magnificent vineyard covered mountains,” I said to my boyfriend L. I wished to return to the Viking Hemming, but instead spent time cherishing all the memories from our first-ever river cruise on the Douro.* It had been a fun adventure and there’s plenty more to share.

Lots To Do On-Board 
There were many activities on-board and unlike L, who enjoyed relaxing and reading on deck, I was eager to participate in all.

Viking River of Gold Cruise, Portugal, Douro, river cruise, over 50, life after 50, boomer travel

Como està,” I said to L when I returned from my Portuguese language lesson. L smiled and went on reading. Elia taught us how to say popular words and phrases, like bom dia (good morning), boa tarde (good afternoon), boa noite (good evening and good night), adeus (good bye), and olà (hello). “There are two ways to say thank you,” said Elia. “If you are a woman you say obrigada, but if you are a man you say obrigado.”

Continue reading


My River Cruise On The Douro – Welcome Aboard!

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“We are delighted to welcome you aboard Viking Hemming, and look forward to serving you,” said our program director Jorge. My boyfriend L and I were excited for our cruise along Portugal’s Douro River, compliments of Viking.*

A Stop Off In Ciombra
It was a fun day of travel to the ship, leaving our pre-trip in Lisbon in the early morning and heading north to Coimbra, the original capital of Portugal, and home to one of its oldest universities. Students gave us a tour and shared stories about their “black capes,” which are a tradition on campus. The capes were originally worn so students would not be judged by their clothes if they were rich or poor. “During graduation festivities, we cut the cape,” said Maria, a student of engineering. “A middle cut is for your boyfriend, but must be sewn up if you break up.” Moi tried on one of these heavy woolen capes and almost fell over.

Portugal, Coimbra, Viking River Cruise, life after 50, over 50 travel, boomer travel

The university at Combria is one of the oldest. Black capes are a tradition for students.

Welcome Aboard!
We arrived in Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, by early evening and boarded the Viking Hemming, The small ship holds about 105 people, Our third floor room was lovely, with a veranda, a king-sized bed, contemporary bathroom (that even had a night-light), and plenty of closet space. “I could definitely live on this ship,” I said to L. “It’s great waking up to a magnificent views of the Douro river and Portugal’s mountainous terrain of vineyards. My only wish is that they had yoga classes on the deck instead of shuffle board and pitch and putt.” Continue reading


My Travels To Portugal – Falling In Love With Lisbon

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“This is a beautiful city and I’m sure you are going to fall in love with it,” said our Viking Program Director Ileana as we boarded the buses to tour Lisbon. It was day two of the pre-cruise trip on “Portugal’s River of Gold,” courtesy of Viking River Cruises.* My lucky boyfriend L (always remind him how lucky he is) and I were assigned to Bus B for the morning and all future tours during the cruise.

Touring Historical Belém
We started our guided tour of Lisbon in Belém, located in the southwestern tip of the city along the Tagus River, one of the longest rivers in the Iberian Pennisula bordering between Portugal and Spain. Our guide Maria told us all about the ravishing earthquake, tsunami and fires that destroyed much of Lisbon in 1755. “Portugal’s royal family moved to Belem because it wasn’t destroyed by the earthquake,” said Maria.

Belem, Lisbon, Tower of Belem, Pasteis de Belem, Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal, VIking River Cruise River of Gold

Sites in Belem (l to r): Tower of Belem, Monastery, Pasteis de Belem

Belem is home to many of Portugal’s historical landmarks and we visited several: Continue reading


My Travels On “Portugal’s River of Gold” – First Stop Lisbon

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50In yoga we learn to flow with the river. That’s exactly what I did during my travels last week on “Portugal’s River of Gold,” courtesy of Viking River Cruises. I was invited to, as Viking says, “explore the world in comfort” along the Douro.* My boyfriend L (I tell him how lucky he is every day) joined me.

As our first-ever cruising experience, L and I agreed that river cruises, because of their small size of only about 100 or so people, are the way to go cruising during one’s life after 50 and after 60, 70, 80, and even 90 (I will share more in future posts about the two inspiring friends R and A who were in their 90s.)

If you haven’t planned a trip yet, not to worry – there’s plenty of time ahead. While not inexpensive, we found that these inclusive cruises are well worth the value and convenience if you want to travel with ease.

Viking River Cruises, Portugal, life after 50, boomer travel, aging


There were many stops on our Portugal cruise and I took time to do as the young students in the small village of Favaios (one of my favorite excursions) encouraged me to do: “observe, feel, taste, smell, buy, play, enjoy, and learn.”

It was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Continue reading


Is John Stamos Really “Grandfathered” This Fall?

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenWould you like to attend a preview of the new television show, Grandfathered, with John Stamos?” asked C from the BlogHer team. The preview was a special event during the BlogHer ’15 Conference held at the Hilton in New York City.*

“OMG, is John Stamos really playing a grandfather?” I exclaimed. “How is that possible? Wasn’t it yesterday that he was Uncle Jesse on Full House?” I watched that TGIF show with my daughter A and son D. It was one of their favorites, even on syndication.

John Stamos, Grandfathered, life after 50, FOX

John Stamos plays Jimmy in “Grandfathered.” Image courtesy of FOX.

Flash forward 20+ years and Stamos is now fifty-something with a “likely dyed” full head of jet black hair. Grandfathered follows a longtime bachelor, Jimmy, played by Stamos, whose life is turned upside down when he learns he’s not only a father, but also a grandfather. Josh Peck, another child star (from the Nickelodeon duo Drake and Josh), stars as his son Gerald. The series airs on Tuesday evenings on FOX beginning September 29th.  

The sitcom is cute. Being a foodie, I liked that Jimmy is a restauranteur. It’s sweet to see how this ultimate bachelor sheds his independence and eventually warms up to his new family.

I had a chance to meet Josh Peck at the preview. He has grown into a handsome young man – almost felt like I was talking to my son D, as they are close in age. I told Peck that D was a big fan of Drake and Josh during his pre-teen years. Peck said that the show still airs on Nick-At-Night. No longer a chubby kid, Peck was dressed in a tailored suit for the occasion.

Josh Peck, Grandfathered, FOX TV, #BlogHer15, lifeafter50, boomer tv

I met actor Josh Peck at the “Grandfathered” preview.

When Will I Be “Grandmothered?”
As I watched Grandfathered, I thought of my own adult children and how much they both have matured in recent years. I wondered if and when I will be blessed with grandchildren during my life after 50 — likely not until I’m in my 60s. But then again, perhaps I may be “grandmothered” in different way.

Cockapoo, Biscuits and Bath, lifeafter50, Grandfathered, grandmother

I could fall in love with this cockapoo grand pup.

“I really want to get a puppy,” said my daughter A last weekend. “I saw this adorable cockapoo. You will love her.” “You’re way too busy to have a dog,” I said to A. “That’s not true,” said A. “I can walk it early in the morning and when I come home from work. If necessary, I’ll get a dog walker during the day. Plus, I can purchase pet insurance if she gets sick.”

I was hesitant to approve. Then there was more chatter. “You’ll come and babysit or I’ll bring her home sometimes. A puppy is a great conversation piece and maybe I’ll meet a guy while I’m walking the dog.”**

“Hmm, hmm, hmm,” I started to waiver. “Maybe this is not such a bad idea,” I thought as I passed by Biscuits & Bath dog retreat near A’s apartment. I could take my “grand pup” to the local spa when I’m babysitting. Might be nice to introduce her to Grandma Judi’s favorite spa delights early on in life. Just no mani-pedis for my baby cockapoo!

Meantime, I look forward to seeing how John Stamos manages through the trials and tribulations on Grandfathered in September. Maybe I’ll learn some good tips.


*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” FOX and SheKnows Media who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

** Disclosure about my potential “grand pup”: While I think that this baby cockapoo is absolutely cuddle-proof, I do not recommend that my daughter A get a dog at this time in her life. If she can rent one on weekends, then maybe I’d say “yes.” And her mother (aka moi) is not going to adopt the “grand pup” after A realizes that she is too busy.


The Brilliance of Women Inspiring Women At BlogHer 15

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersEach summer for the past nine years, I either hop on a plane or train and travel into the blogosphere to attend the BlogHer Conference. It’s an enlightening experience being around so many brilliant and inspiring women.

BlogHer 15, held at Hilton Midtown in New York City, was equally empowering and educational.  When I began my first blog in 2007, only about 400 bloggers attended. A few years later, the blogosphere exploded – more than 5000+ bloggers filled the ballroom. This year, while still large (likely a few thousand) – the crowd seemed more manageable. Blogging continues to be a profession where women excel.

BlogHer15, blogging, blogosphere, #BlogHer15

Change Is Constant In The Blogosphere
In 2014, BlogHer founders sold their company (in a deal worth between $30 – $40 million) to She Knows Media, forming the #1 women’s lifestyle brand in the digital space. Their content, including videos, now reaches 80 million monthly viewers and even more social media influencers. New programs such as the Femvertising Awards, honoring excellence in pro-female advertising (check out these great ads), and Hatch, a track to engage the next generation of content creators (don’t you love the name – so cute – and so were the young girls who spoke!), were introduced this year.

Gen Stem, Hatch from She Knows Media, BlogHer15

“Hatch” was introduced by She Knows Media as a way to engage the younger generation of social media influencers.

Women Inspiring Women 
There were many uplifting speakers at BlogHer 15. The rousing keynotes made the blogosphere blossom: Continue reading