Thursday, June 30, 2011

Memoiries. A mini HistorYoga lesson...


I love history and look at it as a point of reference when we come together on the mat. To see the yoga in all of what we came from, in every moment, so we can arrive fully in the present moment - fuels our future. That is my definition of YOGA.

I use the words of unlikely yogis from authors to rock stars to back it up in the classes I teach. These people probably never rolled out a yoga mat or did a downward dog, but out of the context from which they speak, you can hear the yogic wisdom as if they were sweating out a vinyasa right next to you.

When you hear Paramahansa Yogananda, quotes from the Sutras or the Bhagavad Gita, of course, this is yoga. But yoga is more than that. Yoga is everywhere from poverty to politics, from the office to the gym, traffic to the grocery store.

It's my mission to find yoga and show you how to find it in your everyday too. It's easy when history is obvious, the 4th of July, our countries birthday, or living history with NY passing the bill for same sex marriage. It's celebration. It's unity. It's coming together in like vision.

We need history and holidays. They are timelines for memories helping us look back to see where we came from so we can be more present in the moment, so we can progress in the momentum of life. and be passionate about where we are going one moment at a time. It's the key to being mindful - to know from where you stand.

Sometimes we don't have the time to come to the mat. Even in yoga, you can always close your eyes and tap into the memory of a past practice so you can remember what it felt like, breathe into the space and memory and steep the senses in it like you would a childhood memory.

Your memories, muscular, cellular, emotional, physical, it's all there to call upon when you need.

I look back to Hong Kong's return to China back on July 1st, 1997 - a surrender of control, a new found freedom.

I was in England when the headline came out. I remember the buzz, the chatter of excitement as well as dispute.

I remember having bright blonde hair, in my early 20's and roaming around Europe with no plan. I was free and I was in Yoga. Had nothing to do with China, but I remember the headline, the independence and the feelings it brought up for me.

On June 14th, 1777 the US adopted the stars and stripes for our flag representing a new constellation and our grand union. When I went running on the beach the other day and saw all of the beach clubs donned with stars and stripes blowing in the wind, I was so excited to watch the beauty and structure of the lines, the celebration in the bursts of stars. If THAT's not yoga, I don't know what is.

On June 16th 1884, the first roller coaster was introduced to America, opening in Coney Island Brooklyn, New York. It went six miles an hour and cost a nickel to ride. A roller coaster - six miles an hour. Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. Life brings you ups and downs. It can be a slow climb filled with fright, an instant at a blissful peak of achievement and crazy scary twists and turns. Life moves fast. Savoring each bit of it, the fear, exhilaration, swiftness and slowness of it...that's freekin' yoga.

On June 17th, 1885 The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship to the US from the people of France arrived in New York City's Harbor. On the pedestal was inscribed "The New Colossus" a famous sonnet by American Poet Emma Lazarus that welcomed immigrants to the US. Collossus which means gigantic, powerful, ever present, filling space. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.' In yoga, we fill the space with our presence. We come to the mat, some lost, some found, often tired but most definitely, yearning to be free.

Your body is like a GPS. You need to know where you are to figure out where you are going.

It is my one true mission to find yoga in everything and every moment, share it with you so that you too can have the ability to find yoga everywhere and celebrate it too.

Yoga is such a great feeling that, as a teacher, I can guide you towards. But you, you are the one that has the other 23 hours to keep all the bliss you created in that one hour with me, through the rest of your day.

I was never a big fan of history. My dad loved history. He was a member of the history channel, read voraciously and watched historical documentaries whenever he had the chance.

I have no idea where history yoga came from other than it came from him in a moment, in a flash. It happened in a moment that became a memory, history.

When he passed away two years ago, he infused each one of us, my sisters and my mom with the passions he tried to live out. Whether successful or unsuccessful in that pursuit, we are all shining a bit brighter because of him. He was an unlikely yogi.

Before I started yoga, I was an unlikely yogi.

I guess we all are.

Yoga is when you can feel that connection. Feel it on the mat, in your life, with your loved ones and see that you always had it in you.

It looks different for everyone. Sometimes it's a mat, a surf board, a document being signed by people in power.

Yoga is forward moving pure and true thought, speech and action.

It is infinite in mind and present in heart.

Yoga is my world - past, present and future and I am so grateful to share it with you.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day...Leave, love, unconditional love...

and support...

Whether you have a dad or don't. Whether you are close with dad or aren't.
Today is father's day.
For some, dad is infinite - always there - a parent to live up to, rebel against, look up to or towards for guidance.
For some, he's still there, ready to walk you down the aisle when you get married.
Maybe he is an idea... that role model that never existed. For some, we've lost our 'dad' before the greatest memories began for our adulthood. But, there is no doubt that we all have some male support now or in times gone by for support that gives us the unconditional love or push that we need to live our best self.
Tap into your inner dad - the one that made sure you had a jacket when it was cold, the one that you tried to quiet when he told you you would understand when you were older or told you how to live when you knew exactly how to live, the one you saw on tv or the one you put on your wall or wished you had.
Tap into the masculine strength we ALL have, whether we are girls or boys.

In honor of father’s day, our collective intention is to celebrate that unconditional love and support. Enlist the support from that figure and send out your practice to them. In gratitude....

Just because somebody doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with everything they got. unknown

Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper. Friedrich Nietzsche

Intense love does not measure, it just gives. Mother Teresa

The greatest gift a parent can give a child is unconditional love. As a child wanders and strays, finding his bearings, he needs a sense of absolute love from a parent. There’s nothing wrong with tough love, as long as the love is unconditional. George W. Bush

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love. Oscar Wilde

True love begins when nothing is looked for in return. Antoine de Saint – ExupĂ©ry

Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means. Leo Buscaglia

Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.- Anne Geddes

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." -- Clarence Budington Kelland

Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance." -- Ruth E. Renkel

It's only when you grow up, and step back from him, or leave him for your own career and your own home—it's only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Pride reinforces love.- Margaret Truman

The giving of love is an education in itself. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Even after all this time, The sun never says to the earth, "You owe me."

Look what happens with A love like that. It lights the whole sky.- Hafiz of Persia

Things Dads Say…

"Did someone see that duck?" (after passing wind) - that's just my freekin' favorite!

"Do you think I'm talking just to hear my own voice?"

"Walk it off."

"Blow on it."

"Don't get smart with me."

"Because I said so."

"It will build character."

"You'll understand when you're older."

"I will turn this car around."


Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. Bill Cosby

Gray hair is God's graffiti. Bill Cosby

Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit. Bill Cosby

Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home. Bill Cosby

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it. Bill Cosby

One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be. Unknown

You know... fathers just have a way of putting everything together. Erika Cosby

Every Dad is entitled to one hideous shirt and one horrible sweater. It's part of the Dad code. Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (2005) – Tom Baker (Steve Martin)

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. Charles Wadsworth

Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys. Unknown

“By the time I was ten, playing baseball got to be like eating vegetables or taking out the garbage. So when I was 14, I started to refuse. Could you believe that? An American boy refusing to play catch with his father?” Field of Dreams (1989) – Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner)

It is a wise father that knows his own child. William Shakespeare

A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. Enid Bagnold

A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years, but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind. Albert Einstein

There are three stages of a man's life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus. Unknown

When one has not had a good father, one must create one. Friedrich Nietzsche

It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was. Anne Sexton

All children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. Charles Wadsworth

Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance. Ruth E. Renkel

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. John Gregory Brown

“You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son.” Superman Returns (2006) – Superman (Brandon Routh)

There will always be a few people who have the courage to love what is untamed inside us. One of those men is my father.” Flicka (2006) – Katie McLoughlin (Alison Lohman)

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. Red Buttons


My dad was a driver in NYC. When I moved to LA, I became a driver. Aren't we all, living in LA?

One of the greatest lessons, my dad taught me was to leave room...

When driving, leave room - allowing a car length between you and the driver in front of you so that you work with the flow of driving. (what I took) When we work together, we will all get to where we need to in good time. If you are riding someone's bumper you are congesting the space, creating stagnancy in the movement of everyone. Now, my dad wasn't a yogi, but driving was his yoga. And you can use that lesson on the 405 or in life.

Leave room...

while driving.

while practicing - for the breath to fill a pose.

while eating - for comfort, fuel and easy assimilation.

while speaking - to be thoughtful

while listening - to be present

while looking - to take in

while breathing - to fill up and feel complete, to let go and feel free

Leave room and you will be receptive to all that is good and waiting right here for you, within.

Dear dad - although you are gone – you keep teaching me more everyday!!!!

Happy Father's Day.

~ Lady Yoga

Saturday, June 11, 2011

One Step at a time...


I love history and look at it as a point of reference when we come together on the mat and see the yoga in all of what we came from so we can arrive in the present moment and fuel our future. Think of it like a collective intention GPS. We need to know where we came from to know where we are and where we are going.

On that note...

On June 11th back in 1935 in New York City, two recovering alcoholics, one a broker and the other a physician, founded Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), a 12-step rehabilitation program that helps countless people cope with alcoholism.

The thing that I respect most about this group is the collective. Like us, we come together, people of different backgrounds and belief and we find a common thread to connect us together – YOGA.

Although ‘God’ is used in the 12 step program, it is not of a religious domination and neither is yoga. If you tap into the divine source - that which connects us all together, we find that even in our challenges, we can surpass them with the collective help and support of those around us.

The 12 step program has been used to help many addictions far beyond alcoholism and many people check in daily, weekly and monthly to surround themselves with people who understand where they are coming from. YOGA.

To a non yogi, Yoga is a mystery. To a non alcoholic, AA is a mystery, but one thing is for sure – it’s the connection that keeps us going.

To tap into the source and check in with others and ourselves along the path is imperative for growth and progress.

So let’s come together and begin…

It takes community to maintain a human. Earon Davis

Our highest accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Shared joys make a friend, not shared sufferings. Friedrich Nietzsche

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. George Bernard Shaw

The love in your heart wasn't put there to stay. Love isn't love 'til you give it away. Oscar Hammerstein

From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life. Arthur Ashe

The peace I am thinking of is the dance of an open mind when it engages another equally open one. Toni Morrison

The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference. Audre Lorde

Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity of sharing it with others. Jean-Nicolas Bouilly

We confirm our reality by sharing. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

What life have you if you have not life together? There is no life that is not in community. T. S. Eliot

Our strength is a contented and intelligent community. Rutherford Hayes

The body is a community made up of its innumerable cells or inhabitants. Thomas A. Edison

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it. Marianne Williamson

But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Khalil Gibran

One step at a time,


Thursday, June 9, 2011



It's all about what you can uncover in your practice. Whether it's a set sequence or flow, find what you need, take it, process it and share that energy with those around you. It's all good.

When I practice, I'm a philosopher. When I teach, I'm a scientist. When I demonstrate, I am an artist. BKS Iyengar

And he's SUPER into alignment.

Every great yogi knows how important it is to keep the body in line so that you can progress. It's important to find the room to explore, answer the deep questions within a hold, a breath and find the freedom to explore your VISION of a pose. Not every pose was made to look the same. Not every body is the same.

On June 9th back in 1973, Secretariat wins the Triple Crown - The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. He was the first horse since 1948 to win the 1.5 mile race...and in 2 minutes 24 seconds...a dirt track record for that distance. He raced 6 more times and won 4 and when he died in 1989, it was revealed that his heart was 2x bigger than the average horse. This might have made him race harder but really, if that doesn't reveal true, deep, heavy love for something, I don't know what does. He brought people and crowds together in celebration.

Even ESPN rated him Number 35 in the top 50 athletes of North America. He was the only non human to make the list. In achievement, this little horse brought people together in achievement and love.


Celebrating electricity and Ben Franklin on June 5, 1752, the first climb of Mt. McKinley June 7, 1913, the first roller coaster opening June 5, 1884, The first hot air balloon launch June 5th 1783, Secretariat and you...whether you are practicing yoga for the first time or 108th time, the reach is infinite in possibility. It all starts here.

Stay present in mind and limitless in heart and use history as fuel to inform you in your practice.

You were given this body.

You found this place to practice.

You have the opportunity now.

To dream


and succeed in all that you do, on and off the mat.

Whether it's yoga in the traditional sense or yoga in your day to day, tap into the moment and celebrate the offering it has for you to be the best person you can be.

Here's my hand, grab it and come climb, race, breathe and rise up with me.

The view is awesome,


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm on the edge with you...


This week, our collective intention has been to dream, reach and succeed, whether we poop out in practice or commit to every move and breath, it's all yoga if you are in yourself and commit to yourself.

We aren't little anymore and there isn't a playground to swing from high heights or swing and flail about. What we have is our yoga mat. As teachers, we give you the safe alignment but it's up to you what colors you choose to fill in those lines or outside those lines to make your picture come alive.

When we come to a class, the combination of people in the room will never be the same more than once. When we come to a class, yes it's cost effective but mostly, we go for the energy...what we create and what we get from others.

This is where I love to look back in history. It's been around forever. So has yoga. But, Yoga hasn't been a part of the popular culture till only the last few decades. If we can find yoga outside the mat, outside of what we think it is, it will enable us to see the yoga in EVERYTHING!

In history there is it not so within?

In history there is celebration and win, is it not so within?

There are rules.

There are cues.

There are sequences.

There is a discipline.

All of these are to be respected, but...

at the end of the day, it's what we do with this that really matters.

When you are safe and in line, that's when you can explore.


My only job is to lead you safely to what you want to see.

On this day, June 7th back in 1913, Hudson Stuck, an Alaskan missionary, lead the first successful ascent of Mt. McKinley, the highest point on the continent of America. A whopping 20K feet, sometimes our yoga practice feels like climbing up a mountain.

Check in each step of the way. Pause and look at the view. How does it feel from here? What does it look like? Who is there with you? What does it sound like?

What do you find?

You have the opportunity to be here - on the mat.

You show up. You put in the effort in so soar.

People always say, "Motivation is great but it doesn't last." Just tell them, bathing does not last either, that is why I recommend it daily. Zig Ziglar.

Move, sweat, breathe, connect, bathe in your glory and share it with us. We need it.


What I see...

"I'm on the edge of glory. And I'm hanging on a moment of truth...with you" - Lady Gaga

Sunday, June 5, 2011



In Lady Yoga fashion, it is my goal to look back in history to see where we have come from, find the yoga in the moments past to keep us rooted in the present and passionate about where we are going in the future.

On June 5th, 1752, Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US and one of the most innovative American’s of all time kept a secret he thought he’d be ridiculed for.

He went out on a night filled with thunderstorms to fly a kite. His mission - to collect a charge in a Leyden jar when the kite got struck by lightning, enabling him to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning. Franklin became interested in electricity in the mid-1740s, a time when much was still unknown on the topic. Although he didn't 'invent' electricity, he spent almost a decade conducting electrical experiments.

He helped ‘channel’ it’s sources and benefits for our common understanding and usage deciding that electricity was not the result of friction, but that the mysterious force was diffused through most substances, and that nature, force and charge is always restored to its equilibrium. He developed the theory of positive and negative electricity, or plus and minus electrification. In our terms - the battery, He also coined the term conductor and the lightening rod, used to protect buildings and ships.

Yoga, people.

Every time we come to the mat, we are plugging into the source that provides us with energy. We are moving and breathing in such a manner or force that and diffuse through each interaction we have with others. Every time you practice YOUR yoga, which is on the mat or living your passion or truth, you are exchanging energy, building energy for yourself, transmitting energy through your action and thoughts, exchanging energy with those you come in contact with.

The battery has both a positive and negative charge. Sometimes, you have a negative reaction, you are zapped of energy from something or someone - the guy that snapped at you at work or the woman that cut you off in traffic. You've expend energy and you need to fuel back up. You do that through rest, nourishment, your passion, your yoga.

Through Benjamin Franklin's passion, skill and observations, he was able to discover, uncover and reveal the force that was already there, but needed to be processed and understood for our consumption.

In this day and age, our mindfulness is on conserving energy.

I set a collective intention in our classes because the unique combination of people that show up to a class is never the same twice. We use the energy from those around us and the energy within to restore, replenish and ignite that electricity within, for our yoga practice and to live our fullest charged life.

Observe, ignite the electricity within and finally, conserve it so that you can spend it wisely when you leave the mat, leave the blog and go out into the world to exchange it with others.

Ben Franklin's further observations foresaw some of the greatest inventions and developments of the 19th century from bifocals to ventilation, fertilizer to lead poisoning. It's the 2000's but there is more to discover and more to uncover.

Don't hide this. Don't keep it a secret or judge it. Light it up and share it with the world. We're waiting.

Quotes on Energy/Balance/Observation

Energy and persistence conquer all things. Benjamin Franklin

You are responsible for the energy you create for yourself and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others. All life is energy and we are transmitting it at every moment. We are all beaming little signals like radio frequencies and the world is responding in kind. - Oprah Winfrey from her last show May 25th, 2011

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. Oprah Winfrey

Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence. William Blake

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. Norman Vincent Peale

With out passion you dont have energy, with out energy you have nothing. Donald Trump (and a little money doesn't hurt either...Lady)

Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance. Brian Tracy

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Balance your thoughts with action. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. -Bruce Lee

Take the time it takes so it takes less time. - Unknown

Accept challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory. George S. Patton

Take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space. Dr. Jill Taylor

Tutor 1: What does it feel like when you're dancing?

Billy: Don't know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going... then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin' ike a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity.

Electricity sparks inside of me and I'm free. I'm free. Oh, I'm free – Elton John for Billy Eliot the Broadway Musical

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. Nelson Mandela

Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world. Oprah Winfrey

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. – Isaac Newton’s third law of motion

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins. Benjamin Franklin