Fire Destruction – Spring Renewal

Let’s trek to the Santa Monica mountains from Mulholland boulevard! The path starts with mustard seed plants leading to renewal and growth at the Cistern Trail overlooking Malibu Lake. It was a glorious site to see after the destruction of fire that rampaged close to my home located at the foot of the Santa Monica mountains and this trail.

We were evacuated and then after five days of courageous fire fighters on the scene, we thankfully returned home to do some clean-up. Instead of the usual cool, clean air from the Pacific Ocean, the smell of burned soot was everywhere. Air filters were changed and changed again. Rain cleansed the earth that brought up compacted ash. When I began to see new growth of green sprouting on the hillside, it gave my heart hope.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5


Light shines its renewal after the fire on Cistern Trail, Santa Monica mountains.



Fire Destruction and Regrowth

A fire burned tree shadows the flourishing beauty of Lupine flowers.



Cistern trail to Lookout trail on the Santa Monica mountains.

There were lovely flowers along the way, butterflies and caterpillars. My daughter and my sister trekked ahead of me down towards Cage Creek trail, while I took some pictures.


Nature’s beauty along Cistern trail and Lookout trail.



Lookout trail to Cage Creek trail below.

Where’s Waldo? Or should I ask, “Where is Marianna?”


Marianna does a leg stretch along the trail!


Hiking_Santa_Monica_ mountains

Hiking with my daughter, Marianna, my sister, Linda and her two dogs.

Hiking is fun but can be strenuous exercise. After this hike, I decided to invest in some hiking shoes as I want to do it more often. It’s a free adventure that is inspirational and stress relieving. It is a breath of fresh air, away from computers and traffic!

My sister, Linda lives in Westlake Village and she showed me some Poppy and Lupine flowers that were growing in all their splendor. It’s hard to believe that the mountains behind me in this picture collage were also filled with fire.


Enjoying the flowers blooming in my life!

The hills are now beautifully draped with yellow-tipped, mustard seed plants too numerous to count.

I wondered if Jesus was walking or hiking on the hillsides with his disciples, Matthew and Luke, when he spoke about the faith of a mustard seed that can move mountains and uproot mulberry trees. Yes! I think so!

Wishing you a blessed Easter,

Maria Lauren, AKA Maria Elena Alberici

Your Powerful Life blog

My Website

Your Powerful LIFE blog is about Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment…. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated.

Add Yoga to your Fitness Recipe


My sister and I (Alberici Sisters) enjoy the practice of Yoga!

Yoga is a versatile fitness practice that is sometimes complex but is as simple as breathing.

There are many types of yoga to appeal to your appetite and fitness level. So it is no wonder that the practice of yoga has grown in popularity by the millions in the past decade. What’s more, yoga can crossover and enhance your physical activity of choice.

Here is a menu of the most popular types of yoga and how they can benefit you.

Hatha Yoga is a basic yoga practice of holding poses or postures with the emphasis on body alignment along with deep breathing. Believe me, it takes strength, balance and flexibility to hold a yoga pose. Some poses are more complex than other poses, so choosing the right class for your fitness level is imperative as well as having a teacher with a watchful eye. For instance, just a slight difference in the position of the hips, upper body or feet can completely change the way the posture feels. Some prefer this type of class because it is slower and less flowing.

Vinyasa Yoga is a more flowing style of yoga with one posture going into another posture such as Sun Salutation. You can work up a sweat with this type of class especially if it is a more advance class sometimes called, Power Yoga. I wouldn’t recommend a Vinyasa Yoga class to a beginners or anyone suffering with injuries because there is a lot of going up and down from one plane to another. When I introduce Vinyasa movements in my classes, I do it at a slower pace and offer modifications to my participants.

Yin Yoga is a slow type of yoga that focuses on releasing stress in your joints and connective tissues. Usually, there is a lot of mat work near the floor which is a good support if you are recovering from surgery or an injury. It is a safe class for beginners and an older population.

Restorative Yoga uses props and sometimes the support of a chair. Restoring your body and mind through meditative breathing while doing simple yoga poses and stretches may allow you to release stress. It can be beneficial if you are recovering from burn-out or trying to avoid burn-out.

Kundalini Yoga use mantras and chanting to engage your body, mind and spirit with the emphasis on deepening your awareness and balancing your energy system into wellness.

My recipe for fitness is incorporating yoga in all the classes that I teach at Kaiser Permanente. As a Lifestyle Educator/Fitness Therapist, I fuse all of these styles of yoga to meet the needs of my patients. Every class is different because every patient has different needs. I add the ingredient of Yoga in my Pilates, Dance and Tai Chi classes too.

Be adventurist and give Yoga a try with a teacher who has a buffet of different exercise techniques available to you.

“Not only does Yoga bring together mind and body health; it also unites people from all walks of life. Yoga is truly for everyone, from kids, to seniors, from fitness enthusiasts to elite athletes.” – American Fitness magazine, Spring 2018


My daughter, Marianna Riccio finds that practicing Yoga enhances her fitness.

May you find fitness to be delightfully delicious! 🙂

Maria Lauren, AKA Maria Elena Alberici

Your Powerful LIFE blog

My Website

“Your Powerful LIFE” is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment… It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyright.