A Need To Be In A Better Place
I had a very hard time sleeping last night. I guess knowing there has been so much violence across the country had my mind uneasy. I listened to others' reactions and the consensus is unanimous...something has to be done to stop the genocide of Black people in America.
Not knowing what to do, I decided to take a free lunch time yoga class in my neighborhood. Yoga brings me closer to my core, which is what I needed. I knew the class was offered on a drop-in basis, and if it was too crowded, I would just pivot, and walk away. I couldn't take that kind of rejection. It would become way too personal. I was hurting inside and needed to be left alone with the discontentment I felt. I knew yoga would help me make sense of the imbalance I was feeling.
Luckily, I got there early enough to find my spot. There were about twenty yogis who came out to vibe together. As I rolled out my mat, I overheard a conversation about the gentrification of Brooklyn neighborhoods. Not today ladies!
I was not emotionally prepared for what I was hearing, so, I turned my focus on myself, my breathing and my intentions. With eyes closed, I sat in easy pose and breathed. The instructor took us through a vinyasa flow that really spoke to me. She created a space for me to let go of the feelings that plagued me. I returned to myself, my core, and ultimately knew I was in a much better place.
Our racial issues are still present, but I feel better equipped to at least have the conversation, and leave my feelings aside (for now).
Always in peace!
The Art of Doing Nothing
July 19, 2016
Summers in New York can be brutal with the heat and humidity; just a slight breeze brings some relief. Yet, life continues and the beat goes on. I find myself slowing it down and keeping it cool in spite of the discomfort. When I hear that the weather is expected to be dry and gorgeous, I take advantage of the reprise. I head for the park, with my bamboo mat, some water and a book in tow. Once there, I just absorb my surroundings. I feel the softness of the grass beneath me and the shade of a tree that looms above. There is no place I'd rather be and I take a few minutes to be grateful for this life.
I listen to the sounds of nature. It's at this moment that I practice the art of doing nothing. I realize that I can just enjoy my own stillness and become fully aware of life in its most natural form. I see how life unfolds with the least amount of effort. This is what I yearn for, to be effortless in everything I do.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program, introduced us to the concept of being present as a way of observing yourself living in the moment. This is practice of doing nothing: to observe the present moment with acceptance and to let go of what doesn't support you.
As I sit in stillness, I observe how my thoughts multiply one by one and if I consciously breathe, I can return to the present moment. I become aware that I have the power to either accept the things that occur in my life or move in a totally different direction.
I am so energized to accept the day and deal with this heat!
Always in peace!
So Much Gratitude & Goodness
August 1, 2016
I recently received a card from a student with this sentiment on the cover... Life's a bowl of cherries. She was so thankful for my presence in her life, and I was so surprised by her kindness. I hope she realizes she brings joy into my life as well. Yoga as community is most meaningful to me. When I decided to teach publicly I was hesitant. I did't want to get caught up in attendance and studio policies. Private yoga instruction was comfortable and familiar. My students were committed to the practice and I admired that.
Public class instruction seemed foreign to me. I imagined sitting in an empty studio waiting for the door to open, and expecting the unknown. However, the opportunity to encourage people to breathe together has always inspired me. So, I decided to dive in and teach both corporate and public classes. I actually sat in an empty studio for weeks, but I was there. Finally, my people eagerly arrived and they were beautiful!
Twice a week we meet for 50+ Gentle Yoga Practice. We are over fifty, achy, creaky, overworked, and often tired. We are family! What a blessing is it to come together in community to breathe, move, sing and enjoy our practice. The atmosphere is calm and unpretentious. This is my tribe ... the ambitious and loving and for whom I am deeply grateful.
Always in peace!
The Heart Of Yoga
August 17, 2016
It's been a very trying week filled with many challenges. A good friend of mine is struggling with an illness that is difficult to watch. After spending a couple of days with her, I realized the importance of having compassion for others and the role yoga has played in my life.
I asked my students to send some blessings her way during our intention setting. This is a first for me, but she is in great need of emotional, physical and spiritual healing. Without disclosing too much, they knew I was open to receive all the love they had to offer.
Classical Yogic philosophy is not always taught in my class. My approach is a more practical reflection of the Sutras. Today in class, I reflected on the idea of humility ( having an open heart and mind) and the significance of showing compassion for ourselves and others less fortunate. We always offer our practice to those who are not present, but who could use the benefit of the practice.
As I asked them to silently say the name of the person to whom their practice would be dedicated, I softly said her name. The breath I took was life-affirming and I felt relieved as we sealed our commitment with an "Om." This is the sacred practice of yoga, the practice of each moment dedicated to experiencing our true nature as love. In reality, to live with an open heart is where the yoga resides.
Always in peace!
September 3, 2016
I can't fathom summer is just about ending. Usually, I am in a personal state of protest not wanting to succumb to wearing shoes, losing daylight or retreating indoors. However, this season will be embraced with open arms. I am actually looking forward to cooler temperatures, colorful produce and spicy chai tea. I anxiously await the cracking open of new book binds, yes ... I still read books.
Autumn will forever be embedded in my mind as a time associated with returning to school. Subconsciously, this has always been a good thing: new grade, students, teacher and classroom. I loved learning. So it doesn't surprise me when as an adult, I flip through catalogues searching for the course of study that interests me. Sometimes I move forward and actually enroll, while at times just the titles of the coursework fascinate me.
To jumpstart this desire, I've registered for my first Tai Chi class. It is so sweet. Similar to yoga, we breathe through the belly, allowing it to expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. The movements are slow and meditative; they are synchronized with the breath which is extremely comforting. Although I am expected to practice every day, I don't mind. It's a pre-requisite for learning the next module of study.
During this time of year, preparation for the winter is natural. Yet, it's easy to become restless and indecisive about our intentions. Sufficient rest and daily consumption of nourishing food is crucial in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Ayurveda suggests eating Ojas (nourishing foods) that insulate the body as the temperature decreases. Point well taken. So, I'll be cozying up to my books, studying my Tai Chi, eating my root vegetables and wearing some very warm socks.
Always in peace!
Wise Women Walking Challenge
September 17, 2016
I really love to walk. I've always been in awe of the popular walking group that was started by just two women, only to multiply nationwide. I wanted in, so I joined the group. I was ready to purchase my blue tee shirt and wear it proudly. Now, who was going to join me? You guessed it, I couldn't find one single interested person. After realizing it wasn't going to happen, I left it alone. Yes, I was disappointed but not discouraged. I continued to walk solo.
"Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Anyone who knows me has been introduced to my determination. I seldom give up on anything. So, I decided to start my own walking initiative. Hence, the Wise Women Walking Challenge was born. If I couldn't get members collectively, perhaps I could invite them to walk on their own. I started an online private group ( on Facebook) and offered them seasonal 30 Day Walking Challenges. The goal -- to walk 30 minutes a day for 30 days. We would post our experiences by including comments/ photos of our journey.
It's all based on the honor system. There is no way to track the members other than their participation on the page. Therefore, there is no pressure to complete the challenge. None of that matters because there will always be another one. It's as basic as it gets. We're walking for each other and community. To show my appreciation, I offer a pair of golden laces and a custom tee shirt for newcomers; it's a real no-frills collective. My intention is to encourage women to walk for stress-reduction, build sisterhood and encourage wellbeing.
"Patience is the companion of wisdom." ~ St. Augustine
After starting with just 8 of us, we now have 28 active members throughout New York and across the country. The group's progress might be considered as minimal, but not to me. I am so motivated by the engagement I have seen on social media. Just knowing that a member takes the time to share snipers of their life is phenomenal and much appreciated. We have shared photos of our vacations in other countries. These entries have become the narratives that bind us together.
Through walking, women can be in support of each other. I have had great walks/talks with members who live in my area. It's the best free therapy you can get. Who could ask for more? I'm still thinking of ways to expand our group, but for now it's very good. Sometimes you just have to take the lead to do what you feel is right, release your fears and remember the IPad was a good idea, too. Join us.
Always in peace!
Take Your Time & Let Go
October 16, 2016
During yoga class, we've been focusing on taking our time and letting go. We stop to notice and make self-inquiries:
Yet, whenever I introduce a variation of an asana and/or a new approach to the practice, I sense a shift in the room. Fear enters the space. I explain to the class that the uncertainty they feel is simply temporary and that yoga teaches us to be present. We inhale to invite positivity into our life and exhale to release the things that are not purposeful. The breath is what heals us.
Unfortunately, we have learned to measure success by being busy and we are constantly on the go. Whether it's running to work, getting the kids off to school or scoffing down our lunch, we believe we never have enough time. In essence, we are far more familiar with rushing through life than taking time to live it. Rushing through life becomes habitual.
What does this have to do with yoga? Everything. Yoga offers us the freedom to slow down and be self-compassionate. We experience moments to step out of our comfort zone and release our negative thoughts about failure. We face the fears that immobilize us from trying anything new. We learn how to take our time, breathe and connect to our feelings. We learn that holding on to fear maybe what we know, but it takes real courage to be still and go deep.
In yoga, there are many more opportunities for transformation than those of failure. It's a practice of taking the time to be grounded, centered and to trust in the process. It's knowing that help is always there when needed and there are no missed opportunities when we live in the present. During class, I encourage my students to realize that they already have what they need. This makes it easier to take risks and accept challenges on and off the mat. We take time to be still, breathe and acknowledge any thoughts or feelings that may arise. Then we let them go! In this process, we take care of ourselves and enjoy the many blessings of life.
Here's a simple mediation practice to try before engaging in any activity:
"I will accept myself just as I am. I am exactly where I should be. I will meet expectations without fear, anxiety or resistance. Everything is as it should be and all is well. For this, I am open to receive."
Always in peace!
My Vegan Journey
October 26, 2016
It's been just over 4 months since I decided to become vegan. At first, it was an online challenge I was interested in joining. When I saw how a particular website refused to load properly, I knew I didn't need supervision. Actually, I had considered becoming vegan once before. After choosing a vegetarian lifestyle for over 20 years, it seemed like the next step to take. However, I was advised by my holistic practitioners to eat meat. Apparently, I wasn't getting enough protein so, I ate meat at least twice a week. I was advised to do so in order to strengthen my low functioning thyroid gland.
Consuming meat became so unnatural I could barely ingest what was in front of me. Each bite became more sickening than the next. Before long, I was eating meat less frequently until not at all. Somehow I just couldn't do it. I figured I'd take my chances and return to eating strictly vegetables and some dairy.
What sparked my interest in becoming vegan was my hope to shed my belly fat and resolve my hair thinning. I read books written by famous authors on the subject of women's issues, weight gain, hormone imbalance and hair loss. Each one suggested eating eggs, animal protein and exercising three times a week. Welcome to my life. I was diligent and yet, my issues prevailed.
I ate eggs everyday for about a year and reluctantly ate chicken and fish. I tried hair vitamins and products that promised to help with the hair loss. I purchased very expensive whole food vitamins and minerals. I brewed herbal teas and devoured Chinese concoctions with much enthusiasm to support both my thyroid and adrenal glands. I had acupuncture weekly. Very fine hair would grow back only to fall out again within a few months. Unfortunately, the belly fat went absolutely nowhere.
One day I received an email about a summit on wellness and essential oils. At this point I had tried everything I knew of and had nothing to lose. So, I attended the summit for five days. One of the presenters offered a recipe that promoted hair growth. I purchased my oils and began making the recommended blends. Although the results have been slow, I am hopeful.
On the contrary, what has been most effective is my choice to become vegan. I took a chance on trusting my intuition and found that being vegan is easier than I thought. It's a lot like yoga, it's a practice that takes commitment and intention. I've become more present, patient and self-accepting.
To my surprise, within a few months the belly fat started to disappear. I'm able to fit into my smaller-sized clothes and I feel incredible. I look at food with a new perspective. I've learned how to eat what's right for me and I finally figured this thing out. It's a very good thing.
Always in peace!
Rest, Restore & Review
November 16, 2016
It's been awhile ... I've been way too busy and inundated with projects, programs and people. It was becoming overwhelming and just not fun. So, I decided to let go of two weekly classes. The decision was bittersweet because the students are wonderful, but I needed to move forward with a new perspective. Truthfully, I was putting in more of my passion than I was receiving. My teaching wan't sustaining me and I lacked support, mentorship and connection. What I needed was clarity, restoration and self-care.
The impetus for change came shortly after I attended an online webinar on building a yogic business. One of the presenters spoke to burnout ... where there's more energy going out than is coming in. He was speaking to me. I was totally committed to teaching and showing up, however, my students may not have felt the same way. Though I will encourage them to continue on the yogic path, I knew I needed to take a break to reassess my objectives.
I am learning to redirect my energy to be more mindful about the courses I teach. My plan is to periodically review my intention for teaching, in general. I will have time to develop clarity and cultivate my creativity. Rethinking the concept of my classes will help to improve and strengthen my teaching skills. My take away from the webinar is to center into my personal yoga and meditation practice to focus on my purpose and intention. I will ask for help when needed and connect with like-minded people.
It pleases me to know that I am open to any new possibilities that will come my way. I am confident that this freedom of choice will allow me to study more, experience new adventures and grow as a yoga teacher. I will only teach according to my dharma ( life's purpose) to guide and motivate my students. Inhale ... learn something new, exhale ... share with others. Now, I'm signing off... I've got some resting to do.
Always in peace!
November 30, 2016
It's hard to believe how quickly time has flown by. With the onset of the holiday season, we gather with family and friends to give thanks for what we have received. We are reminded to be open to any new opportunities the new year may bring and overall, it's a time of hope and great optimism. In spite of our present political climate, we still want to be happy and share our contentment with others.
As I reflect, I am so grateful for the joy this year has given me. I've shared my teaching and yoga practice with new acquaintances in both corporate and public settings. I've met so many new people in my Retirees Program, who have shown their love and appreciation for my teaching. I've continued to develop my 50 Plus Gentle Yoga Practice and have witnessed many highs (and some lows). These trials are merely opportunities for future growth and I humbly accept the challenge.
My private students continue to inform me of how specific our yoga practice has to be to strengthen our commitment to yoga. I am inspired by how our teacher-student relationship continues to grow. I've been able to assemble the Wise Women Walking 30 Day Challenge members to walk toward wellness and meet in community. In retrospect, I have been blessed to share ways for maintaining health with those who have opted in to living an optimal life.
My intentions for the new year are to continue teaching yoga and sharing the many benefits it offers. I'm adding a new corporate class: Meditation, Mindfulness & Movement to premier early in January and become an additional course in the Fall. I am open to finding a new home for my 50 plus program to encourage student continuity and hopefully, we can resume classes soon.
I still have a few weeks to reflect before this year's end. I'm sure whatever comes up will only enhance what's already happening in my life. I truly believe that the Universe conspires with me and it only gets better with time.
Always in peace!
All The Possibilities
January 4, 2017
Here we are, another year of making resolutions and setting intentions. I've been invited to vision board parties and I've seen the lines forming for entrance to the gyms. Cynicism aside, I know attendance will plummet by the end of the month. We are so conditioned to make empty promises to ourselves. We think we need to make improvements as though something about us is terribly wrong. And then I have to remind myself that there's always a goal to achieve within each of us. Therefore, I'll keep my snide remarks to myself. Besides, people have a right to do what they do and want what they want.
As for me, I'm keeping it simple. I had a very productive year teaching and I've learned a few things about burnout --- it's not a pretty thing. It's like purposely driving your car into a wall and then finding out you have run out of gas. I overextended myself in more ways than one. I tried way too hard to be the teacher I read about on social media. I thought busy was better and that couldn't be farther from the truth. In the end, I felt unappreciated in some areas, satisfied in others and unsure of my original intentions.
Lesson learned: Be me. Be smart!
Forget about trying to do the marathon teaching thing and teach smarter instead; teach courses that I know impact others. This eliminates the feeling of me being the only one committed to the practice. Remember what brought me to teaching in the first place, to teach privates and work one-on-one. Somewhere along the line, I got beside myself and almost resorted to leaving yoga behind.
Thankfully, I got a grip! I am creating a course that interests me and that others have requested. I will continue to expand my corporate courses an eventually, offer one public class a week. I'm even thinking of collaborating with other holistic practitioners to do events when the time comes. Right now, I'm grateful for all the opportunities I've been given and welcome more blessings my way. It's never what you do ...but how you do it. I'm learning.
Always in peace!
Tied Up in Knots
February 6, 2017
We are living in such total chaos it's almost too arduous to breathe. Watching the evening news is an invitation to feel your gut wrench in disgust and confusion. We are witnessing one idiosyncrasy after another. The aftermath of the 2016 election is a cascade of fear, anger and opposition.
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." ~ Audre Lorde
I feel a sense of sadness during yoga practice. My students are coming to class with emotional despair, physical tightness and a bruised spirit. I encourage them to revisit our intention to the practice .... which is to heal. I offer a heart-centered practice that embraces self-acceptance and self-compassion.
I remind them that self-care is a reflection of self-love and when we heal ourselves, we heal our communities. I've been crafting my Mindfulness, Meditation & Movement course to include small group activities, discussions and daily practices. My hope is to create opportunities to bring awareness and peace into our life.
" You can't dump one cup of sugar into the ocean and expect to get syrup. If everybody sweetened her own cup of water, then things would begin to change." ~ Florence Kennedy
I've come to realize even more that self-care and self-love are socio-political acts. We stand in solidarity and resistance to the marginalization we face in this society (racism, sexism, gender bias, etc). When we develop a love relationship with ourselves, we transform. We realize our personal power, self-worth and agency. We become fearless and initiate change.
Always in peace!
April 15, 2017
It's been a productive couple of months. I took good care of myself and I feel as though I am emerging from a personal hibernation. I needed rest and I got it! Now it's time to get things rolling again. I've two pending projects coming up: two new Gentle Yoga for Seniors classesand Mythical Dances of the Goddess, Shakti Wellness Workshop. Each is equally exciting and well-received by the students who will be served.
The Gentle Senior Yoga Workshop is near and dear to my heart. I recently listened to another teacher refer to marginal communities as under-practiced. That's exactly who seniors are ... a unique group of individuals with a wide range of abilities. There aren't many yoga classes that honor or see us. So when I was invited to create a 4-week workshop, I was energized by the opportunity.
The Goddess Dance Workshop came into being from a mutual love of dance between two artists. I have the utmost respect for my sister/friend bellydance- extraordinaire, who invited me to collaborate and create a movement experience. We will align yoga and bellydance to empower and encourage women to recognize their innate shakti (divine feminine) energy.
So my schedule is full, but smart. I have not taken on projects I don't feel passionate about or have to re-invent the wheel in order to do them. I am being sponsored by a studio who offered me a yoga class and space. I am collaborating with someone who shares my interests and respects my input. There's ample enough time to market each project and I don't feel overwhelmed. It's my dharma!
When I think of how I can serve others, I am reminded of the work I do with seniors. My classes are tailored to meet where they are and how they embody the practice. I want them to remember that this is their practice, to move in ways that offer them comfort and to breathe together in community. For this, I am most grateful.
Always in peace!
May 27, 2017
I've been teaching yoga for over two decades already and I must say it never gets old. The outpouring of gratitude I receive reconfirms my purpose ... to share, empower and guide those who come to learn. My students tell me that I spoil them, but I don't. I encourage them to realign their body, rebalance their emotions and to offer themselves an invitation of peace, relaxation and self-care. This is my offering.
When a student holds my hands at the end of class and tells me how wonderful I am, means more to me than I could ever explain. The vibration between us travels from our hands straight to my heart space. We share the same gratitude toward each other. We are in sync in mind, body and spirit. This is the true definition of yoga and solidifies the purpose of our time together.
As my students begin to conceptualize the benefits of connecting their breath to their wellbeing, they consciously become more aware of how to adjust their body during asana practice. Each movement is created with ease and hopefully, with the least amount of effort. The yoga practice evolves and develops creatively and spiritually.
I am grateful for these experiences to treat each student with the utmost care and consideration. I realize how important it is to teach with compassion, kindness and sensibility. The more gentle I am with language and guidance, the more gracious and understanding I become. Consequently, the more appreciation I receive. I'm just treating others the way I would like to be treated in a yoga class ... as if each class is a private session carefully designed just for me. It's how I live with enormous gratitude knowing I am being of service to others.
Always in peace!
June 17, 2017
It's hard to believe summer's almost here. We spent so much time and energy in keeping warm and wishing for the frigid days of winter to end, and then they did. That's pretty much the way life plays itself out if you're not living consciously and in the moment. What I've noticed, is that if I don't stop and pause, one day feeds into the next.
Here's what happened when I didn't. I thought I woke up too early for my 8:30 am yoga class. Actually, I set the alarm for the wrong time. So I laid awake without realizing where I was supposed to be. Frantically, I got dressed, threw on a hat, ran out into the world without a plan and totally stressed. I hailed a cabdriver who was off-duty. Luckily, after witnessing my craziness, he agreed to drive me to my destination.
Of course, it was raining and my students were waiting outside earlier than expected. I usually have at least 20 minutes before class to collect my thoughts, and since Murphy's Law is real, I had three new students. Through the good graces of the Gods and Goddesses, everything went fine. I gave the softest yoga offering I could. I needed all kinds of self-love.
I learned a valuable lesson about myself that day, to trust that things will work out. Sometimes you have to let go of trying to control every situation. Things happen for a reason, and that the universe conspires with and not against me. Besides, my students were not affected my harried arrival, and that's what really matters. Our breathing in community, was in essence the resolve to an unpleasant beginning. The rest is history.
Always in peace!
We Are One
July 11, 2017
I am just returning from the Black Yoga Teacher's Alliance conference. Words can't give justice to how I feel spending four days with yogis who share my ethnicity, culture, thoughts, commitment and love of community. We are truly one. We danced, sang, chanted and gave praises to our African and Native American ancestors, in a combined ceremony that cherished our interconnectivity. The presenters shared their expertise and personal experiences with addressing and healing from the trauma of racism. Warmly, we held space for our own healing in the comfort of each other's hearts and welcoming arms.
This experience permeates your cells and tissues. The feelings of love and appreciation seem to stay with you long after the conference has ended. Through social media we vow to remain connected. We have such tremendous respect for the alliance's founders, the presenters and assistants who worked tirelessly to make us feel comfortable and nourished. This is the true definition of seva (selfless service).
I came away with so many new ideas on how to share the practice with my students and others I may meet along the way. I will include the chant we learned about connecting the chakras to the earth elements:
earth my body,
water my blood,
air my breath
and fire my spirit.
I have become aware of how trauma is expressed in the ancestral body through generations, and the importance in identifying secondary trauma exhibited as co-dependency, low self-esteem and emotional pain. I'm excited about learning more about our traditional African religion and its correlation to the chakras. I am so grateful for embracing such fascinating work being done by black yoga teachers.
The next phase of my personal development is the Yoga As A Peace Project teacher training, sponsored by BYTA this fall. I can hardly wait. I will address the effects of racism in marginal communities and the importance of using the breath and community for healing. Stay tuned!
Always in peace!
August 24, 2017
I can't believe summer is coming to an end. Back to school commercials have hit the media, sweaters have hit the racks ... indicators that we're heading for a new season. Previously, as a former educator the end of summer brought on mixed emotions. With classrooms to prepare, boxes to unpack and supplies to be purchased, the thought of starting over was not at all that welcoming. Yet, in reality, there was a sense of excitement that existed in birthing new ideas, facing new challenges and starting anew. In retrospect, each new semester allowed me to adapt new concepts, tweak my teaching style, take risks and continue to learn.
"Now we begin again," begins the Yoga Sutras, one of the ancient texts highlighting the foundations of all modern yoga.
One advantage of starting over is that it's never the same as before. Surprisingly, there's the possibility of a newfound direction to take and a way to make things better. This Fall marks my third year at the UFT, where I create and hold space for community, safety and self-care. Bringing yoga and mindfulness to the corporate setting has been most rewarding. I am fortunate to share my teachings with retirees who look forward to having fun while improving their flexibility, body awareness, strength and overall wellbeing.
I am also continuing my weekly classes at Move With Grace Yoga, Fitness and Juice Bar, as well as developing two new Gentle Yoga classes in Brooklyn. Each organization is enthusiastic about bringing yoga to their communities. New opportunities to create and share. So, together, we begin again.
Always in peace!
Creativity & Wellbeing
September 27, 2017
When I first became a yoga teacher I was afraid to share information about the chakras. I assumed that most students would be turned off by the concept of subtle energies. I couldn't be farther from the truth. Accessing and moving chakra energy in the body seems to be an interesting topic in each class I teach,
Although presentation is key, I realized that I had to stop comparing myself to others, and realize my own uniqueness. This is perfect --- because when you discuss the chakras, you tap into your own energy as well.
What I discovered was my fear of being criticized. What I did instead was to: redefine my purpose; release my fear of criticism; let go of limiting beliefs; and reassess my self-worth. I realized my creativity, which brings us to the Svadhisthana, the sacral chakra and its attributes:
When in balance, the sacral chakra helps us to develop positive relationships with others and find the richness life has to offer. However, there are challenges in life that often affect the energy flow of the all the chakras. An imbalanced sacral chakra prevents us from finding pleasure and passion in the things we do. We fear happiness and fear using our creative side.
Here are some suggestions to strengthen this chakra:
Now, I infuse my chakra teachings with movement. Belly-dancing has been one of the best forms of movement that ignites the divine feminine energy and unblocks chakra energy. In my Shakti Yoga Dance Workshop, I encourage women to embody how to livea joyful life. When you restore the power of your chakras, you take back control of your health and wellbeing.
Always in peace!
A New Sense of Consciousness
October 25, 2017
It takes a minute to realize how quickly times flies. I'm always stunned by the changing seasons. It seems as though I notice it's one season, only to rediscover a new season is approaching to take its place. Was I dreaming? I am beginning to realize that if I am not present in each moment, events will just float by unnoticed. I wonder... how do you really stay present?
I think for the most part, we are either living in the future or the past. We recount our past experiences and rehearse them mentally. We plan for the future and set goals to achieve. If our present experiences aren't profound enough, we tend to ignore them. Yet, there must be strategies to take to keep us present in the moment. I went back to read Eckhart Tolle's, The Power of Now.
He suggests these important strategies:
"Resist nothing. Resist nothing. Resist nothing."
~ Eckhart Tolle
It's vital that we live with enthusiasm and bring presence and consciousness to each moment. Allow life to unfold beautifully.
Always in peace!
November 25, 2017
Well, this will be an interesting blog post since it will be done on my iphone. It seems as though whenever a new Apple device comes into existence, something fails on one of mine. Since we’re on the subject of giving thanks, I AM thankful to at least be able to jot down my thoughts and share them with you.
Let me begin by sharing my gratitude to those of you who actually take time out to read my blog. I don’t know you personally, but I thank you. With such an overflow of bloggers in this world, my very simple contribution is just my musings on what my life has to offer. Nothing more ... nothing less. I’m living my life the way in which I feel is intended, and I try to express the joy I am recieving as a result. It’s all meant with the greatest of love and intention.
Secondly, I am learning how important it is to connect to others, because we all have something valuable to share. I hesitated to blog thinking I really didn't have much to say, and chose to be invisible. But the day I overcame my fear and pessimism, was the day I realized I haven't lived this long to be silent. So, here I am.
Lastly, (oh yes, this will be a short entry), I've come to appreciate the power of writing and how it can make a difference in the lives of others. What I offer you is not a cheesy plug to endorse what I do, or to try to sell you anything. If you never step onto a yoga mat with me or anyone else .. it's fine ( though it is greatly responsible for all this happiness). DO YOU ... and find your bliss.
I love quotes and want to share this one with you:
“ Your enjoyment is God’s blessing on creation.”
~ Dr. Victor Baranco
I wish you all the best during this holiday season. Much love & happiness sent your way.
Always in peace!
Patience Is An Act Of Courage
December 27, 2017
I have been in crisis mode for the past 2 weeks! I’ve always been known to be a patient person, but having a family medical emergency placed its toll on me. For the first time in a long while, I was inundated with fear and uncertainty. I was speechless and paralyzed by the degree of my loved one’s condition. I couldn’t eat or sleep and found no words to describe my anguish. Yet, I heard that tiny whisper telling me to wait and see for myself. Be patient.
Patience came into play while I was on my flight. Not knowing what to expect and only hearing secondhand information amplified my anxiety. There was a glimmer of hope one minute, followed by doom the next. I wasn’t sure of the situation and tried to remain hopeful that things would fall into place. But how?
They didn’t .. I was shocked and confused by the notion that within an instance, life could change so drastically without a warning. Who is this injured love of mine? Why don't I recognize his behavior? I had to navigate my feelings around my own sadness and offer support to those experiencing discomfort and pain. Therefore, I decided to wrap my mixed emotions around positivity, hope and patience.
After many long nights of emotional upheavals and conversations around acceptance and healing, something short of a miracle happened. I saw my loved one's smile as we both recognized each other in that familiar place. There are no words to describe the feeling of having my prayers answered. I stepped outside and felt the cold air on my face and then inhaled deeply. With the longest exhale possible, I released my fear and suddenly something happened... I smiled.
Patience may be a virtue, but it is also an act of courage.
Always in peace!
Where did the time go?
So, I had so many thoughts to unload, but decided that taking pause was most necessary. I unplugged, logged off and took a media break after the holidays. It gave me a chance to reconnect with myself and make choices that are more beneficial to the next steps I'll be taking. Once wonderful ideas come to mind, there has to be some space created to manifest those intentions. I'm checking out how inspired I've become with such ordinary things that support and expand my consciousness.
This semester, I am exploring varied aspects of mindfulness meditation to introduce to my workshops. Thus far, we've had weekly opportunities to engage in more useful applications of mindfulness to daily life. I've been motived to share how the contemplative practices are becoming platforms for diverse populations, to include: addiction and recovery, chronic pain, sleep disorders and PTSD. It's always a pleasure to see returning participants who enjoy and accept the process to encourage self-compassion.
As I continue to grow as a practitioner, life seems to give me what I need to reach new heights of awareness. I'm meeting like-minded people who share their creativity and love for life. I couldn't ask for more. Still recreating my offerings, I will be bringing new concepts and programs to you, so keep in touch.
Always in peace!
March 12, 2018
In June, I will celebrate my second anniversary as a vegan. To some it may sound monumental but honestly, it's like I've been vegan my whole life. I've been educated by the research found about our food industry, and realize my choice is completely honorable. I never really thought about the agony animals endure as they are sacrificed for human benefit. The documentaries have left an indelible mark on my brain with such profound images. I am grateful to those food warriors who continue to fight for animal rights and the preservation of our environment.
What I love most are the recurring questions about what I eat. Most people seem horrified that I don't do dairy or eggs, and grimace in disbelief that I can actually feel balanced and satisfied. I'm amused and do't feel the need to defend myself in any way. I simply explain it's a choice, and I am fine. Then I giggle because it's true. I've become more creative and conscious of what I'm cooking. The preparation is a mindful act that I look forward to.
I think what surprises me the most is the number vegans I've met through social media. We are growing in numbers and offer so many forums to share, discuss and support each other. Many of us have podcasts, books, and youtube channels that share recipes and tips for traveling while vegan. I never feel isolated or at a loss for food choices or ideas. After being vegetarian for many years, and told that I should eat meat, I am finally at peace with the relationship I have with food.