Monday, August 29, 2011

Ganesh Request

Om Sri
Vakratunda Mahaakaaya KoteeSurya Sama Prabha
Nirvignam kuru mey Deva
Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa

Since we last spoke there has been an Earthquake, a Hurricane, very little yoga, power and water loss, and an impromptu 13+ hour drive from Maine to VA (with a lovely almost 3 year old) in my life. We made it through each one unharmed and with no damage to our property, and hardly any complaining to boot.

I have some sincere gratitude for the round bellied dude who must be watching out for me and my family these days. I owe him some sweets!

O Lord Ganesha of large body, curved trunk,
with the brilliance of a million suns,
please make all my work free of obstacles, always. Om

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Shri = Beauty
Shri Made

Shri Received

Shri cultivated

:: Finally, my earrings are beautifully organized

:: Beautiful silk saris and delicate bangles from India, gifted me by an old school friend who is moving out of the country

:: Flowers growing in the school garden down the street from my house

It is one of the highest purposes of practicing Anusara yoga to co-create with the force of Life to bring more Beauty into this world. Look for it everywhere, and bring it forward.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Make Love Monday #8

Make Love Monday -- a mission to create a more loving world by being aware of how we interact with each other and choosing connection. Choose to connect with the offered practice sometime during the week and report back on how it goes.

This week, your assignment is to do something for yourself. A little self love is never amiss, because if you can't love yourself, how will you ever learn to love anyone else in a real and true way? So for this week (and a little longer because I'll be on vacation next Monday) your assignment is to:

Write yourself a Love letter

That's right. Get out pen and paper or a beautiful card and write a letter to yourself as you are right now. Write it as if you had just fallen deeply in love with yourself and are seeing all of your wonderful gifts and strengths for the first time. You could write it directly into your journal or somewhere else that you'll see it on a regular basis. This might be a good thing to do after a juicy yoga practice when your heart is wide open and you feel a little more positive. Or do it when you feel crummy and see if it shifts your mood a little bit. Just give it a try and tell me how it went for you. "Dear Darling Sarah, Guess how much I love you.... Let me count the ways.... " Embellish and Enjoy!

Have a Make Love Monday tip? Hook me up! Send me an email at with MLM in the subject line. I'd love to share it (and if you get up on the blog you'll get a free class with me if you're in town, and something else awesome if you're not)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Quote #12

photo from Anusara's Facebook Page

"Be an embodiment of positive vision for the world"
-John Friend
(on the occasion of Anusara's 14th Birthday this week)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In and Out and Up and Down

'Eventually, everything that has an opposite, will give way to its opposite'... so Hareesh said while we were gathered for the Grand Circle in June.
It's true. It's happening all the time

Last night I taught on actively bringing Luck into your life (and "luck" was my code word for blessings, because some people aren't super down with being Blessed --like my husband for example). Anyway, it came out of an amazing past few days. I had the best past few days. Great classes, great practices, great meditation, great weather, great food, great time with my daughter and husband and best friend, and time to do just exactly what I want to do. Ah. I truly looked around yesterday and said 'I am SO Blessed'

and then I woke up this morning. I was exhausted, I was an hour late waking up so I rushed my meditation practice, I had to take my daughter to get vaccinated before she can go to school (so that's always fun), I spent the morning eating crappy food, fighting traffic, and being pulled out of center, asana practice didn't solve anything and neither did my time on the internet (go figure). Finally a sweet walk at the end of the day helped to settle the whirlwind of dust. It wasn't a horrible day by any means. It just wasn't a day that felt particularly AWESOME or connected to anything Higher.

And that's the thing. I'm always flipping back and forth --falling down and off the wagon. But I make a choice to try again and not to dissolve into the yummy chocolate ice cream we made yesterday. Not to think that I'll never feel so connected again. The beauty of the path is that days like yesterday are revealed to remind us that THAT is our essence nature, that is who we are and that those magic Grace-filled days really are possible. They are there to remind us when these not so wonderous days do happen that there is something more worth striving picking ourselves up for.

I felt awkward yesterday, saying to the class of students who may have been in any place emotionally: "I am having a GREAT day!" But my goodness, if I don't stop, recognize and celebrate them when they come... these awesome days probably won't happen so much. And maybe a little of my magic rubbed off on them too. Or not, and that's ok. We can just know that whatever side of the coin we're on... we'll soon be visiting the other... and then back again.

That's why it's a path not a destination.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday!!! and Make Love Monday

Make Love Monday -- a mission to create a more loving world by being aware of how we interact with each other and choosing connection. Choose to connect with the offered practice sometime during the week and report back on how it goes.

Today is Anusara's 14th Birthday! Hip Hip Hooray! Celebrate in the best way you can think of... 14 drop-backs might be fun. Or 14 minutes of savasana. Or 14 cupcakes. Whatever strikes you, but remember to Celebrate! (I even turned the blog purple for it)

So, for this week's MLM we celebrate Anusara by spreading the word. Your challenge is to:

Speak about something you Love

I envision finding someone who I haven't shared a lot about Anusara with (which could be hard) and telling them all about Anusara and why I love it. If you love Anusara you could do the same. But you could also find a friend and tell him/her about something else that sparks your soul, don't hold back, don't hold it in SHARE. And then switch. Listen about something they love as well.
Notice how your body expands, you have more space for breath, your heart flutters with excitement, and a smile comes to your lips. Notice the twinkle in your friend's eye, the beauty and relaxation in the face. The sweet happiness that pervades the space.
Love is a many layered experience. Loving an idea or an activity is not less than loving a person or community. And speaking of Love only makes it grow.

Have fun and report back! Happy Happy Birthday to us!

Have a Make Love Monday tip? Hook me up! Send me an email at with MLM in the subject line. I'd love to share it (and if you get up on the blog you'll get a free class with me if you're in town, and something else awesome if you're not)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Life Coaching -- yeah, i'm doing that too

Well - I outed myself this morning to my Sunday class that I've been doing the ubiquitous Handel Group life coaching since June. It pretty much rules. And now that it's out on the blogosphere I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about it in the weeks and months to come.
Anyhoo. I thought I'd share, for those who may be interested, that there is a teleseminar coming up this Wednesday 8/17 with Laurie Gerber of Handel and my friend from immersion, Katie Myer talking about the coaching process and about moving yourself forward. I'm finding the benefit in the coaching, I think my family are finding the benefit in my coaching, I think my students are finding the benefit in the coaching,... so I figure I should share. The nice thing is this is an affordable way to be introduced to their system. The description is below... and NOTE the 50% off with the code: yogakatie, that will mean it will only cost $10. So worth it for the hour of your time that just might start the shift you've been waiting for.

Enjoy the description, and let me know if you try it out. I'll be interested in hearing how it strikes you!

Did you ever wonder how YOU could be the person you always wanted to be? This teleseminar is like a tasting menu of a gourmet dinner. On the menu: how to pinpoint your dreams, how to stop sabotaging yourself with excuses, and how to get yourself to do what you know you should do. We will serve it up with a helping of this question: Did you know you can change your habits and even your personality once you figure out what’s really important to you, and learn the tools to get your heart, mind and body in alignment? President of Handel Group™ Life Coaching, Laurie Gerber will lead this hour-long exploration into aligning our heart, mind and body with special guest Katie Myer, an Anusara-Inspired™ yoga teacher. This is also a great way to explore our flagship program: The Life Coaching Crash Course.

Wednesday, August 17th
8:30-9:30pm ET Teleseminar
$20 (use code "YOGAKATIE" for 50% off!)

Register Here:​/life-coaching/one-hour-te​leseminars/dive-into-the-p​romise-of-you/



As President and Senior Life Coach with Handel Group Life Coaching, Laurie Gerber passionately oversees the whole company engaged in creating personal and breakthroughs with clients all over the world. Whether it’s finding a job you love, fixing your relationship, dropping excess weight or simply being ready for the next exciting chapter in life, the work you do at HGLC provides immediate inspiration, serious results and lasting knowledge.

Katie Myer, RYT-200, is an Anusara-Inspired™ yoga teacher committed to helping you create the life you love. Katie approaches yoga from both an intellectual and creative perspective, infusing her classes with mindfulness, a playful spirit and a connection to the heart. Anusara yoga has helped Katie uncover her most joyful, most authentic version of herself; her classes inspire others to consciously reveal their most authentic selves, while having a blast on the mat. Katie’s teaching is informed by her recovery from a back injury using the Anusara Universal Principles of Alignment™, and she delights in empowering students to free themselves from pain. Katie’s thirst for knowledge drives her to advance her understanding of yoga through regular studies with senior Anusara teachers. She is thankful for their unbounded generosity in sharing the gift of yoga. Learn more about Katie at

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Quote #11

"We seek not rest, but transformation.
We are dancing through each other as doorways."
- Marge Piercy

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I LOVE to practice with music. I mostly practice with music. But, my tunes can get a little dry. Here are three new (to me) albums I've been enjoying lately. I downloaded them all from iTunes but you could certainly buy them from Amazon or elsewhere. And I know the Jai Uttal one is available for streaming on Grooveshark and probably pandora too. Enjoy

Jai Uttal album Bhakti Bazaar. Sample it here at Amazon.

This one, Flying, by Garth Stevenson was profiled in Yoga Journal this month. I immediately checked it out and have been adoring it ever since. Sample here at Amazon

Totally digging this album Alive by Todd Boston. Sample it here on Amazon. Todd was the incredible musician for the Grand Gathering and I think for the teachers' gathering last month as well. Incredibly talented. Amazing, I'd say. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Standing in Wonder

The view from my room in Bali, 2007

Some years ago I took a yoga retreat in Bali. To get there I flew something like 24 hours --from Vegas to Houston to Hawaii to Guam to Bali, Indonesia. We landed in the middle of the night there and were driven to Ubud, to the open air villas where we stayed. Then I collapsed into my bed in a total daze. In the morning, I opened my eyes in a new bedroom. I blinked myself awake and ventured to open the door and found myself staring into a completely foreign world. Vibrant green plants, stone sidewalks, statues of Ganesh, foreign people, smells of incense, offerings, cremation fires, motor bike fumes, new foods, new streets. All of it completely brand new... And the first thing I did was literally wander up the street with my mouth gaping wide open in a total state of amazed wonderment. Though I eventually got familiar with my surroundings, that feeling of total wonder that came from wildly expanding my world never left me.

Yoga asana and meditation practice can at times be like visiting a foreign land -- the land of my body, heart, spirit. It is a land of mysteries and new revelations -some I love, some I don't. The approach to the exploration can have huge effect on the entire experience. When I approach my practice with skepticism, a know-it-all mentality, or fear I quickly become blocked. I can't tap into the wellspring and I block my experience on the mat or cushion. On the other hand, if I come to my mat with a sense of wonder and amazement for whatever unfolds... I am opened into unknown experiences I could not possibly imagine. My body unlocks too.

As my body unlocks there is an unlocking of heart and an awakening of spirit. Thing is, Spirit delights in seeing the wonders of the world through my eyes (and your eyes), it's kind of why were here in the first place. So seeing with wonder, living in a state of wonder, cultivating a state of wonder take me to a deeper experience of the Self that is at the center of this yoga, which is precisely why we get on the mat to practice day after day.

Contemplation: What do you wonder? What does wonder feel like on your mat?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Make Love Monday #6

Make Love Monday -- a mission to create a more loving world by being aware of how we interact with each other and choosing connection. Choose to connect with the offered practice sometime during the week and report back on how it goes.

This week's MLM is super important and came out of my weekend's activity. This weekend my sister and mother came to town to hostess a bridal shower for my sister-in-law to be. It was a lovely time of gathering our families together with a few friends to honor and acknowledge J. as she makes this transition. It reminds me how important it is to mark events, big and small, with some loving pause. With that in mind, this week's MLM is:


Certainly big events like babies and weddings and new jobs are cause for celebration, but smaller events can be too. Starting a new school, a child losing a tooth, mastery of a new skill or pose could be just a few. Even cleaning out the basement is a cause for celebration at my house! Anodea Judith lists Celebration as one of the seven ways we as individuals can contribute to a global opening of hearts that will bring humanity to a new level of awareness... from 'the love of power, to the power of love' and if that isn't cause enough to celebrate as often as possible, I don't know what is!

So, your MLM assignment for the week is to look for something to celebrate in yourself or someone else, no matter how small and DO IT!

Have a Make Love Monday tip? Hook me up! Send me an email at with MLM in the subject line. I'd love to share it (and if you get up on the blog you'll get a free class with me if you're in town, and something else awesome if you're not)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Quote #10

Friday Quote: A regular offering of some words to ponder over the weekend. If you do the same in your space, leave a comment with a link so that we all may grow together.

"Consider that the saint you will one day become
exists in this very moment. Gaining access to your
highest potential, you can relish the reality of your
own longing fulfilled. It is you. Speak with it.
Ask questions about your spiritual journey and
how you are dealing with the circumstances of your life.
This is a fascinating exploration."
-Swami Shantananda
The Splendor of Recognition
An Exploration of the Pratyabhijna-hrdrayam

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What means Yoga?

Conversation a few days ago...

Babe (2.5 yrs): "Mom, What means Yoga?"
Me: "What does Yoga mean??"
Babe: "Yeah"
Me: "Yoga means Union. And that means taking things and bringing them together. Yoga is about being together"
Babe: "Mom, WE'RE Together"

Yes, We are. We are together. We are all together. So simple. Now, the idea is just to remember it in every moment, no matter the situation... Make YOGA out of every instant. Simple.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roll Call

Did you ever go out with your sweetie and another person and have those awkward moments of yeah, there's somebody else here? Or go out with a group that totally gelled one time only to have it be missing one or another member the next time and it was totally lame? Or hook up with some random hodge-podge group of peeps that you'd never expect to see in the same room and have an incredibly awesome rocking good time?

That's kind of how it is to teach yoga in the summertime.

I'm sitting on my mat each day looking out into the studio just wondering who on Earth is going to show up this time, and I'm finding the surprises don't end. Regulars drop off the radar due to other commitments, travel, or new explorations. Randomites try out the practice for the heck of it. Out of towners drop-in to try the studio, or for an Anusara-Inspired fix while they pass through town. And the chemistry of the classroom is in constant flux... it's like vinegar and baking soda thrown together haphazardly with no regard for proportions so that some weeks we have a totally magical eruption of Shakti and other weeks is a weak-ass fizzle into nothingness. I mean, I still think even if it's a fizzle, it's probably an alright class... but I'd rather have the eruption week after week.

Thing is, it really matters who is in the room. It really really matters. Partially, I matter. Which one of me shows up.. Is it the stressed out mommy, the bhakti and Shakti filled little girl with the overflowing heart, is it the anatomy and UPA obsessed yoga nerd, is it the anxious scared child who thinks she can't possibly do this, or is it the unstoppable woman who knows she kicks butt? That will largely determine what happens, so I do my best to bring my Best self each time. But also, the students matter. YOU matter, I should say. And it isn't said lightly.

The first principle of Anusara yoga is Open to Grace and Set the Foundation, and the first A is Attitude. The attitude of the people who walk through the door has the ability to shift beauty to agonizing torture, or blaze avoidance to heart-felt acceptance and love. I've seen teachers take rooms full of sour pusses and turn them into gooey love muffins. I've also been in classes as the student and not been Open to Grace only to find myself sinking deeper into the pit of ugliness I've dug for myself while the people all around me appear to be having transformational openings. It all begins at the beginning. Am I open minded, Open to Grace, do I have a beginner's heart and mind? Do you when you walk through the door?

As the teacher, I'm constantly going back reminding the students in the first part of class ... show up ready, show up Open, be a beginner, listen to your breath. I think during these summer months of total chaos and unpredictability those are good reminders for myself. Show up ready, Show up Open ... Flow with Grace, and serve those right in front of me. The shake up will slow down, the volcano will stop erupting eventually and the new normal will settle in.

Until then ride the Grace... and just so you know... You are missed, You are important, You make a difference, You have the power to shift whole groups of people, You are infinitely Loved.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Make Love Monday #5

Make Love Monday -- a mission to create a more loving world by being aware of how we interact with each other and choosing connection. Choose to connect with the offered practice sometime during the week and report back on how it goes.

This one comes from Anodea Judith. In her book Eastern Body, Western Mind she writes about opening the Heart Chakra and suggests giving love is one of the great ways to get the heart space working.

Her recommendation is:

Do something wildly unexpected for someone

Go out of your way to do something, somewhat large for someone you love. Her thought is to carry groceries for a neighbor, or treat a friend to an unexpected dinner. For me, thinking of doing this one this week feels a little challenging, honestly. But, that's the point. Growing the love in the world isn't an easy task, if it were easy we'd all be doing it already. So, I'm going to make a point, amidst all that I have to do this week, to find something extravagant to do for someone else that I love. I'll let you know how it goes....and you do the same on Facebook or in the comments to this post.

Have a Make Love Monday tip? Hook me up! Send me an email at with MLM in the subject line. I'd love to share it (and if you get up on the blog you'll get a free class with me if you're in town, and something else awesome if you're not)