Saturday, November 30, 2013

Come Together

As Thanksgiving weekend draws to a close, and everyone in the house is recouperating from a nasty alien illness, I'm tired. It's hard to keep up with this-ing and that-ing at this time of year, but always really. Fragmentation is kind of tiring. This version of me doing one thing, while another version thinks about -- or worse -- worries about another. It's a very real concern in a time when we are impatient waiting for a text reply. (Remember how slow things were before text, email, fax -- or dare I say it? - before answering machines?) You have to really consciously go off the grid for that kind tempo these days. Herein lies the yoga for me. Something to stay with, to keep me staying with all the other stuff I have to be/do. Yoga forces me to be with the breath. When you think about it, it's no wonder when I get tired, then sick, that it's my breath that struggles: congestion, cough, wheeze. In fact, one of my teachers, Gabriel Halperin was talking about the importance of pranayama the other day during practice. The breath helps us come back to ourselves, uncovering the essence of yoga that resides within us, and through it we feel more whole -- whatever that means in any given moment, practice, day, week, year, lifetime. So as I breathe new life into this space, I'm also bringing it together with my new-this-fall website My yoga, my writing, my life are all one thing when I get right down to it, so why be fragmented? Join me here, there or anywhere!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My yoga room and all is coming

It's so close I can feel it! Walls painted. Storage solutions pending. I just need a little space with not too much clutter. A place to put my books. Light streaming in the windows, especially on these wintry days. A big pile of blankets, bolsters and straps. A few (really good) mats. An elephant or two. And that's it. How will this space change my practice? I don't know yet, but I'm mostly hoping it makes more practice -- more practice to find more of my yoga, my me, teaching more privates to help others find their yogas. Pictures soon, I promise. What about you? Where do you practice at home?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Yoga, Moving.

As we start getting ready for our big move, yoga sometimes struggles to make the to-do list. How frustrating. What moving needs is yoga -- the breath, the flexibility, the strength, the stillness. Moving is about turning everything upside down, moving everything around, getting everything from here to there. Yoga is about moving only inside to just be, right where you are, right now. It is such an interesting juxtaposition. Even while I'm running around in the whirl of the move, I'm thinking about that stillness, looking for the crystal of yoga which just exists within. Breathing. It isn't easy, but that is the yoga. Tonight I'll get on the mat. Then I'll lead some yogis in their practice. I know I'll find the yoga there. But then I'll step off the mat back into the mess of boxes. I hope I can bring the yoga with me. That's the point, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm really enjoying teaching my series Yoga 101: FUNdamentals at Shakti Yoga & Living Arts. (So much so, in fact, that Yoga 201 is coming up soon!) It got me thinking. Of course.

There is so much I am not good at when it comes to yoga. Yes, yes, and I know, "practice and all is coming," but we all want to be "good" at what we do, right? Well, I can't reliably do handstand, bind, or even step my foot forward in surya namaskar. Sometimes it makes me feel silly to announce myself as a yoga teacher when I can't do some of those sparkly poses -- or even some of the "easier" ones. But I do practice. And practice well. And as much as I love asana, I like my practice to be about the big YOGA -- not just the stuff on the mat.

Interestingly, I am pretty good at teaching. I was a teacher before I was a yoga teacher, so I came to the top of the mat with a bit of experience. A bit, mind you. There are so many incredible, long-time teachers out there to whom I bow. I am awe of their practices, in many cases. But if you are a great teacher, I'm really in awe. It means you are connected to your students, have that presence, that voice, and a great approach that is serious, but not too serious. And in some ways, that's really what I want to be as a yogini. The teacher that makes you want to come back.

A few in my Yoga 101 series asked what would happen when the series ended. Would they be able to come to my class? (I must have blushed with delight! What a compliment!) And then it hit me -- it doesn't matter that I can't do titibasana (yet). They don't care. They want to feel safe, soft, open, strong, challenged, and successful in their yoga. These gracious yogis have bonded with me enough to want to practice with me more. Well, right on. I'm confident we'll have fun on the path together and find the yoga we're all meant to share.

For me, teaching is a big part of my practice. Spreading the love, opening the door to yoga that someone maybe couldn't find, or worse, had been turned away from. I never really thought about that before. I am so lucky to have these students that help me rethink everything I do on the mat. I take that with me off the mat. Hari OM.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I don't know

SO much.

Or, there is SO much to try/read/learn/practice/know. It's incredible, really. Lately, I've been thinking about how many of the things I've enjoyed doing in my life: singing, writing, yoga (heck, GOLF, even!) require lots of practice, study, and self-inquiry. I'm kind of a junkie.

I'm reading a book (finally) recommended to me by a fellow yogini, and it is just great. It is practical, historical, and key to moving my practice and teaching to the next level. I'm pretty sure I'm not one of those yogis whose hallmark will be doing lots of WOW! poses -- that's just not me. Though who knows, practice and all is coming -- but I digress. Rather, I like the idea of introducing students to and using in my own yoga practice on and off the mat the depth and breadth of riches that yoga has to offer. There is history, culture, poetry, anatomy, music and more to be explored. It is, in fact, what makes yoga such a colorful, wonderful thing.

Sometimes I feel lucky to not have the strongest, most flexible practice. Not being an athletic juggernaut on the mat in part allowed me to be open to the other elements of yoga: it's philosophy, language, music, ritual and more. And each time I pick up a new text about it, I am reminded just how much of a beginner I am, of how little I know. It's so freeing to approach life this way -- just being in the moment, empty and open to all that is.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I was never good at algebra, or any math, for that matter. And maybe I'm not really good at solving problems in general. I don't know.

I hadn't really thought about making resolutions, or even about the new year that is upon us. Really, is there time for that? My friend Nancy, the Flying Yogini, got me thinking, though. She posted a little gem on Facebook about breathing through the letting go of things -- my paraphrase -- but you get the gist? It was about letting go. Practicing non-attachment.

I've been resolving to lose weight since I was about 12. I make the resolution every year -- even in the years I said (say) I wasn't making any resolutions. It has always been the thing I need to fix about myself. My self. Nancy's idea about letting things go in the new year somehow led me to the idea that resolutions are really new attempts to re-solve something. Solve it again. So maybe I would resolve to re-solve the weight problem. But I thought more about it.

And I thought about how I might let go of this. Let go of the resolution and the re-solution. Let go of the idea of fixing myself. Let go of the idea that I am less because there is more of me. Loosen the white-knuckled grasp. Let go of the attachments that bind me into this mindset, this heartache, this body. Because that's the yoga. The practice of just being, rather than just holding on.


Then another gem from Nancy: "The universe is listening." Write it down, she says.

So I wrote it down here. I'm letting go. I'm not sure I even know what that means, but I have the year to find out.

And now I ask you -- what might you let go of?

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's that old refrain:

The days are long and the years, short.

Six months since the last post? I can't imagine how that would happen, except for the runaway life.

The period since my last post reminds me of why sometimes the most important yoga is off the mat. Finding peace in my breath and in new ways of responding to things has been a challenge as life has swirled around me. As time and money come and go, being content with what I have seems too simple, but it, too, is a challenge. But I know how lucky I am. I know that I only have to tune in to connect to my practice, even if getting to the mat is a challenge. My girls are my yoga. My husband. My house. My chores. Teaching.

Life is the union, the yoga.