Thursday, September 22, 2011

Emancipate this...


The Emancipation Proclamation was issued so long ago on this day, Sept. 22, 1862. The main purpose of the proclamation was the freedom of slaves and to restore peace and Union control amidst the civil war.

Looking back into history, we can see how far we've come as a collective. We have made grave mistakes and seen the errors of our ways, healed and made ammends by moving forward in strength and togetherness.

We need to know WHERE we came so stay present and know where we are going.

We might not have been slaves in this era, but at times, we find our self slaves to something that tugs us away from our highest purpose and passion.

Let's discard the ties that bind and explore the idea of freedom and liberation so we can live fully in the present, in our bodies and on the divine right path we are here to explore and share with others.

Emancipation means...






Celebrate it in history and celebrate it here in your life now.

The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self. - Albert Einstein.

When you lose all sense of self, the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish. Lose yourself completely. Return to the root of the root of your own soul. -Rumi

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. - Yogi Bhajan

Don't wait to find solid ground, dance in emptiness. - Lama Surya Das

It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing and being peace that we can make peace.- Thich Nhat Hanh

Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide. - Napoleon Bonaparte

You have freedom when you're easy in your harness. - Robert Frost

Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. - Albert Camus

Freedom is the oxygen of the soul. - Moshe Dayan

We feel free when we escape, even if it be from the frying pan into the fire. - Eric Hoffer

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. - George Washington

Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you chose. Anything less is s a form of slavery. - Wayne Dyer

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. - Nelson Mandela

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has freedom. - Malcom X

It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. - Chuck Palahniuk

The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world. - George H. W. Bush

All the great things are simple and many can be expressed in a single word - freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. - Winston Churchill.


Lady Yoga

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It's that time of year again. Autumn. It's a great time to give yourself permission to fall, in love, out of a posture, while texting and walking at the same time. Ok, not the last one.
It's the beautiful cycle of life.
A few people and I were talking about the idea of surrender and how some words just freak us out and make us respond in the opposite way. I told one of the girls, I had the same problem with the word, relax. Like, relax Lady. It makes me tense up.
Sometimes, when you go to your regularly scheduled yoga class and you find there is a sub in your teachers replacement, there might be a bit of uncomfortability. Then, after a while, you find the sequencing and postures are similar and you can soften. Then, you might find the teacher saying the same thing your other teacher says but this time, you actually 'hear' it. You understand it and can integrate it into your body in a way, you couldn't before.
This doesn't make one teacher better than the other, just different.
I told the girl who had the problem with surrender, the story about when I did the trapeze in Santa Monica. I had taken enough lessons to do tricks etc., but I still couldn't do 'the catch'. All it was was letting go of one bar and reaching out at the exact time prompted towards the arms of someone else swinging on another bar.
Timing or maybe the teacher was just wrong for me, but I finally understood what my issue was.
I couldn't 'relax', 'surrender', or another definition I'm trying on, 'turn over' to another.
If we can change our idea of things, it maybe easier for us to understand.
The woman I spoke to got - 'the catch' in her mind and was finally able to understand in her body, what that meant to surrender physically and let the peace of a posture take over.
For me, I was able to turn over my stress to something else so that I could relax physically while driving in traffic or taking on a new challenge.
With a new season ahead of us, there is always the vata (wind) of change.
To stay grounded we need to root ourselves in the the surrender/catch/turning over of this season or more appropriately, new leaf!! Get it, leaf, fall...
Centering ourselves amidst the transition of warm to cold, introduction of newer, more comforting, wholesome foods, faster, more heating postures, more contemplative and reflective mindset; these are all difficult things to do if forced.
So give it time to adjust just like the weather.
Understand that it doesn't happen overnight and sometimes you need a new, different, substitute perspective on the same things you've been doing the last season.

When I was walking down Montana the other day and started to notice the first few colorful leaves dropping off the trees (we're a little behind the east coast foliage), I looked at each individual, they looked different but the same. They all came from the same tree and had these strong center lines in the middle with little branch lines coming out of them and turning into vibrant colors of red, orange, green, maroon.

Later that day, during the Sivasana point of class, I looked at all the students lying on the floor, some breathing short and heavy, some slow and steady. I saw their strong center lines and arms and legs of strength reaching out in different vibrant colors of energy. We are all such unique impressions from the same tree or studio in this case.
How alike we all are, in our differences.
And just like that, after all the years I've been teaching, I saw in a different way.
I could literally feel, the catch, the transition, the turning over of a new leaf and perspective in my teaching.
It happens every cycle of the moon, the seasons, the tides and beginning and end of a practice.
We are constantly transitioning. If we can stay steady in that and surrender to it, we will be in bliss and flow in the stillness.
Autumnally glowing,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New York Times

On September the 18th, 1851, The New York Times was published for the first time. With 106 Pulitzers, the most of any new organization and the most popular on-line news organization with 30 million unique visitors per month, The NYTimes is a mainstay of our country’s information gathering, conversation and crosswords. It’s the largest local metropolitan newspaper and the 3rd largest overall behind the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The Gray Lady is its nickname and their mantra/motto is, ‘All The News that’s fit to print’.

The paper was started by Henry Jarvis Raymond with the model of conservativism as essential to the public good and radical in everything that requires reform. He did not believe everything in society is either right or wrong but had the desire to preserve, improve and reform.

He set an intention and it has stood the test of time. When you set an intention, it gets you to your goal. It keeps you in clarity so that the distractions of your life fall away.

When you repeat that intention inside and out, you have laser beam focus that keeps you on your path.

The NY Times looks the same with it's black and white columns that get your hands dirty, but every day the news changes.

Every day you come to the mat, your body looks the same, but the information inside and out changes. Use the news you feel and use it as fuel to stay with your intention, move through your practice and your day.

Preserve your intention, improve our strength and flexibility and reform our ideas about the past and future remaining grounded in the present moment.

Conserve your space, breath and energy on the mat and in the world. Be clear and concise with your movement. Stick to the headlines and allow your story to unfold.

The energy of the mind is the essence of life. Aristotle

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

Energy and persistence conquer all things. Benjamin Franklin

All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination, Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.

Napoleon Hill

"The more you seek security, the less of it you have. But the more you seek opportunity, the more likely it is that you will achieve the security that you desire." - Brian Tracy

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant's revolving door. Albert Camus

Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. Albert Einstein

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. Mark Twain

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. Buddha

Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear. Mohandas Gandhi

All great achievements require time. Maya Angelou

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. William Shakespeare

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. John F. Kennedy

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific. Lily Tomlin

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. Bertrand Russell

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years

E Plurbis Unum - Out of Many, One - The Seal of the United States

Living in NYC at the first 9/11 was a powerful and terrifying time. I had just moved back to NYC after many years in Los Angeles. Although we were all effected, I can't imagine being anywhere else in the world for that time as NY rallied together in a way I had never seen or experienced in all my life.


My family was close by and within the tragedy that surrounded us all, it shook many of us still standing into having a different perspective on life. I think it made us all take a good look at ourselves, those we spend time with and how we spend our time. I never in a million years thought I would become a yoga teacher but I'm pretty sure that the events that happened on 9/11 changed the course of my life.

On 9/11, it was the last day of many people's lives. In a scramble of terror, the phone calls reaching out to loved ones in the final moments were all about love and gratitude and hope. There was no talk of anger or frustration or road rage or that the barista didn't get the coffee right or you were cut off in line. Of course, I speak from experience...that's what happened to me that morning when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I was at Dunkin' Donuts and pissed off at a woman who cut the line. How absolutely ridiculous in hindsight.

It's my goal to be of service to others. I wake up everyday grateful that I have the opportunity to teach and write. Some days are good and some days are bad, but I am always happy to teach an individual or a class room full of people. It's my path and it came into clarity in the most confusing time IN our time.

In memory of a time that's sealed in our memory, let's spend the day or practice with the collective intention to fill our souls and each other with love, hope, compassion and last but not least, gratitude - that we get to practice, move our bodies, breathe deeply and come together in community.

Today we reflect on the moment we became one - differences aside, we stood together, in memory, we stand unified. - Boeing

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
 Helen Keller

A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love. Stendhal

Do all things with love. Og Mandino

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. Mother Teresa

Love does not dominate; it cultivates. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

May we not succumb to thoughts of violence and revenge today, but rather to thoughts of mercy and compassion. We are to love our enemies that they might be returned to their right minds. Marianne Williamson

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Albert Einstein

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. Hippocrates

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be." Patanjali

Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.Buddha

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly." Buddha

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so let us all be thankful." Buddha

"He who lives with his senses well controlled, moderate in his food and drink, he will not be overthrown, any more than the wind throws down a rocky mountain." Buddha

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. Marianne Williamson

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion. Max de Pree

Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather allowing what is now to move us closer to God. Ram Dass

"Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"What one relishes, nourishes." Benjamin Franklin

"He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows, nor judge all he sees." Benjamin Franklin

"Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep always in the sunlight." Benjamin Franklin

"Time heals all wounds." Anonymous

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." Sydney J. Harris

"The soul is a breath of living spirit, that with excellent sensitivity, permeates the entire body to give it life. Just so, the breath of the air makes the earth fruitful. Thus the air is the soul of the earth..." Hildegarde of Bingen

"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness." Seneca

"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden."Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To keep your interest alive, do what you love and love what you do for "...when work is a pleasure, life is a joy. Maxim Gorky

"Love one another: you'll be happy and healthy. It's as simple and difficult as that." Michael Leunig

"A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug." Patricia Neal

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." Thich Nhat Hanh

"Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts." Thich Nhat Hanh

"A quiet mind cureth all."Robert Burton

"Do everything with so much love in your heart that you would never want to do it any other way." Amrit Desai

"Teach only love for that is what you are." A Course In Miracles

"Sing songs that none have sung, think thoughts that ne'er in the brain have rung; walk in paths that none have trod; weep tears as none have shed for God. Give peace to all to whom none other gave, claim him your own who's everywhere disclaimed. Love all with love that none have felt and brave the battle of life with strength unchained." Paramahansa Yogananda

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.Max de Pree

"To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own. Abraham Lincoln

"Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives." Louise L. Hay

"I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul." General Douglas MacArthur

"To insure good health: Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life." William Londen

Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy. Sai Baba

Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are. Rachel Naomi Remen

"Sorrow looks back with sadness. Worry looks up and down, from side to side, with fear. Faith looks forward with hope and gladness." Anonymous

"Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love." Leo Buscaglia

"One word Frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." Sophocles

All healing is first a healing of the heart. Carl Townsend

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B. Smedes

"Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love." Mohandas K. Gandhi

In gratitude, love, hope and compassion,


Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

My mom gave birth on Labor Day. She labored hard on Labor Day. My birthday!
It's the first Monday in September and is a creation of the labor movement dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Its a yearly national tribute to all of us - in yoga!
In the spirit of prosperity and well being for ourselves, each other and our country, let's set the collective intention as we practice and go about our day to celebrate

In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices. - Elizabeth Gilbert

Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.

Albert Einstein

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Mother Teresa

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. Winston Churchill

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. Mohandas Gandhi

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot. Eleanor Roosevelt

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. Oprah Winfrey

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others. Plato

As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency. Caroline Kennedy

Prosperity gathers smiles, while adversity scatters them. WILLIAM SCOTT DOWNEY

In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom. Buddha

Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. The World Cup. But we're all eligible for life's smaller prizes... A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer." —Unknown

All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts. William Shakespeare

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. Helen Keller

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." Dale Carnegie

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. Phyllis Diller