Dharma Talks

A Dharma Talk is used to open a yoga class. It’s used to set the theme of the class, share insights, teachings or philosophy. It is typically comprised of themes, subjects or issues the instructor is currently navigating or studying. Depending on how long the class is, the talking portion can last three and a half to five minutes. I have been in class with a very experienced, senior teacher and she spoke for about fifteen minutes. She had stuff to say. Anyone with sense in their head chose to listen.

Last weekend I went to a yoga event in Alabama. It was a celebration of a yoga teacher training graduation. Four gradates taught an hour and half yoga class to open the day’s events.

There were three women and one man. The man opens the class from behind a harmonium, a squeeze box type of instrument not unusual to yoga studios. He is sitting cross-legged behind the instrument. When he begins speaking on the theme of the day I really recognize he has something to say. He is practiced and prepared with the material.

The subject of the Dharma Talk is the Heart, the light of our being, the ability to be present and compassionate in the world without losing our bearings. He quotes his teacher, he uses poetry, personal stories and humor in his monologue. He talks for about twenty minutes, which are not part of the hour and a half class. There is a brief intermission when he is finished speaking.

The first five minutes the group of a hundred or more people are attentive and sitting with up-right posture. But then it happens; shoulders slump when it seems obvious this guy is talking for more than the unofficially acceptable three and a half minutes at the beginning of yoga class. I see heads lolling around, phones coming out, legs stretched out, bathroom breaks become contagious.

Most of the students present remain attentive, but I know that the majority of those who are twitching like Samantha’s nose are not reacting to the speaker or the topic. For the first ten or so years of practice it’s a struggle just to keep your ass still while you try to do the more quiet, reflective practices. I get it, any instructor whose been at it long enough understands it is hard to sit still. There is a whole practice devoted to just that!

What is interesting is that Dharma Talks as a topic have been on my mind lately. It intrigues me that I end up at a large scale gathering of practitioners and see the dynamics between speaker, topic and students magnified by such a large number and massive space (we were in a church gymnasium).

I could design a whole Dharma Talk around its very topic, which in a way is what blogs are anyway. So if you have a hard time sitting still or refraining from looking at your phone when you’re not wholly engaged with your body in headstand or crow pose, I have been thinking of you. This post is for you.

I know that sometimes when you arrive to a yoga class you may have just left an office where you sat at a desk for seven plus hours. I know your back might ache or your hips are tight or your mood is sour.

I know that sometimes, you have been standing behind a chair all day, curling, straightening, coloring and perming hair and smoothing wrinkles from crumpled personalities and sprinkling fabulous where you can. Perhaps you spent the day folding laundry or zooming around in your car in a lifestyle that is the complete opposite of #workfromhome. I know you need to stretch and move your muscles so you can remember what it feels like to move like an animal again, to breathe like the wind again, to flow like the river again.

I know this, these sometimes, because I have experienced feeling an urgency to get on with it, to begin movement, for the instructor to shut the hell up already! Because, as a student, I have felt itchy at the beginning of class, have been agitated and restless on my mat, I do not take it personally when I am leading a class and see you fidgeting, eyes rolling all over the room in desperation, your hand roving around for your phone.

I understand. Really, I do.

As a student, I have been in a class when the instructor was really on to something. They said something really pertinent to what was happening in my life even though they might not have known it. More than once an instructor has started class with an innocent reading or idea or by simply sharing something they heard on NPR and I suddenly felt less alone in whatever storm I was experiencing in my life.

When I am the one opening or leading a class I don’t know what is going on with everyone in the room. Rarely do I have the slightest indication of what is churning beneath the surface in the folks who come to my classes. I know they are there for a yoga practice and I just try to do a really good job. Part of that job is relating teachings to the best of my ability and sharing stories I think might be helpful. Part of my job is to say what arises and what comes from my heart, whether it’s funny, important or relatable remains to be seen. It is not my job to know if it lands anywhere.

You never know who that person is who needs to hear the thing, whatever it is that day. It might be you, but only later, after rolling your eyes back into your head like a wild horse crossing a craggy mountain in a lightening storm at the end of the world, do you realize that something you heard opened a dark space inside you and let a little light in.

It’s my job to share what I study. It is your job to pay attention.

Previously in this post I said how I know this and that about your day. The truth is I don’t know anything at all except that these practices work. I also know that they are not one dimensional, exclusively physical or easy. I know they are worth it. I urge you not to give up, especially on the stillness. It is there, it really is.

If you find yourself struggling with being able to settle into the beginning of your yoga class, here are a few things to consider.

If you feel frazzled or jangled when you arrive, consider taking a class later in the afternoon so you don’t feel frenzied leaving work or harried by afternoon traffic. Conversely, if the afternoon is a struggle, consider taking earlier classes like a lunch hour practice. Try different times and see if that effects your ability to show up mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

Be on time, or five minutes early. Settle down on your mat, make yourself a cup of tea, lie in Savasana. It’ll help ground you. Try arriving twenty minutes early and taking a nice walk around the block at a slow pace to center and ground the different facets of your being.

Eat light a couple of hours before practice. A heavy meal before practice can make you feel sluggish or drowsy. If you don’t eat enough it can make you feel un-grounded and focus can be a challenge. Experiment with what is right for your constitution. Try a smoothie or protein shake and see how that improves your practice.

Set an intention to bring all of yourself to practice. Ask the Universe to help unite your body, mind and spirit and see how this request changes your experience. Ask to learn something, ask to hear just the right inspiration that you need. And show up, bring all of you to the mat and shine.

Slow Flow Is Not Old Lady Yoga

First, let me say that there is an eighty something year old woman who comes to my yoga class and she consistently makes the young and the nubile look weathered and worn, such is the grace of her practice. So “Old Lady” yoga by definition is a little bad ass which makes this blog title a misnomer.

When I began taking yoga classes I don’t think there was even that much of a class description on the schedule; it was Yoga at whatever time with whomever teaching. There was no distinction between newbie yoga and advanced burn your ass up flow, so in a way I was spoiled with the simplicity.

Slow Flow is a staple class description here in small town Florida. There is a little bit of a stigma attached to slow flow, namely that it is easy. It is the yoga class one chooses when they don’t want to work too hard or put forth too much effort.

Back before yoga teacher training was a flicker on the event horizon of my life, I went to Slow Flow weekly. I thought it was Just Yoga. The class had all the stuff one thinks of yoga class as having; opening and chant, sit, breathe, warm-up, sun salutation, standing poses, twisting poses, balance and back-bends, forward folds and inversions though not in that particular order. Things wrapped up with a nice relaxation period and some meditation. That’s a hell of a lot of stuff happening in an hour and a half. It was anything but easy.

I inherited two Slow Flow classes which I now teach at Uru Yoga and Beyond. Since Uru opened its doors and a whole new world of Yoga practitioners crossed its threshold let me tell you something, people act like slow flow yoga is the easy yoga. They act like it’s the yoga you go to when you’re recovering from an injury or sickness or childbirth.

This, my friends, is not the case.

I teach my Slow Flow classes the way I learned to practice, and then teach, yoga. We sit, breathe, warm-up and flow. What distinguishes these classes from what is typically considered an “advanced” or “strong” class is the pace at which the class moves. Hence, the slow flow.

The transitions between poses are given the same amount of importance as the postures themselves. Students spend more time in the postures, deepening their experience of the pose in relation to their own body and breath. This style of practice builds a strong body and a steady mind, neither of which is easily won.

Because it grows tiresome trying to change students’ ideas of what a Slow Flow class is, I have renamed my classes on the schedule. The new class title is Vital Yoga: The Principal Practices.

Here’s the clip from the class schedule –

“Vital means both “absolutely necessary, important and essential” but it also means to be vibrant and full of energy.

The Principal Practices of Yoga is predominately a flow yoga open to seasoned yogis as well as practitioners with minimal practice experience, as postures may be modified for challenging sequences. Flow practices emphasize the unity of breath, movement and intention which leads to increased physical strength, flexibility and mental acuity. In addition to the flowing class style, anatomy and postural alignment instruction is offered.

The classes are designed to strengthen and enhance flexibility of the body through movement and postures. Practices designed to bring stability to the mind through breath work, meditation and mindfulness are also included in the practice session. This hour and a half yoga practice is balanced to support the yoga student in their pursuit of health, wellness, strength and serenity.”

There is nothing necessarily easy about pursuing health, wellness, strength and serenity. However, it is vitally important to do so.

While I’m doing up-dates and all, my Monday 6 pm class is now Kali Natha Yoga so we can practice it together twice a week now. The main difference between the Saturday and Monday class is that on the weekend we will work with the same sequence for a month whereas on Monday the offerings will vary week to week. I love this style of yoga like no other.

The class description from the website says, “Like the dance of Shiva and Shakti keeping the Universe in perfect equilibrium, a balanced and consistent yoga practice balances body, mind and spirit. Kali Natha Yoga brings the exotic and essential elements of yoga to all levels of experience so practitioners can safely and effectively deepen their yoga practice.

Kali Natha Yoga is a series of flowing yoga movements. It is suitable for students of all levels and abilities. The instructor will guide you through movement accompanied by breath techniques. Together, these practices enhance your energy system, energize you, calm the nervous system and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated on all levels. Founded by Ma Jaya at Kashi Ashram, Kali Natha yoga allows the student to feel Yoga’s deep essence and meaning.

At the end of the practice, you will feel a deep quiet as you restore in final relaxation. Kali Natha Yoga is a moving meditation, a prayer in motion and the unspoken poetry of the soul. Prana Devi cannot wait to practice with you.”

I used information from the Kashi website to make sure I represented Kali Natha yoga well on my own teaching schedule. I love the language used to express the practice but really, you’ve got to experience it for yourself. I hope you can join me.

Lastly, for those of you who have been taking my Slow Flow and suddenly see a new description, don’t worry. Nothing is changing in the actual class, just the language used to describe it so people who might benefit won’t stay away just because they equate slow with infirm. Yoga is unity and effort for the good. Most importantly, Yoga is for everyone.

See you on the mat. xo



Dog Day

It takes a lot of yoga to make it through these dog days of summer. And shopping at Pet Smart on a Sunday afternoon takes dog days to a whole new level.

When I walk into Pet Smart I notice lots of dogs sauntering around like they own the place, as dogs do. Pets being welcome in the store is common enough, but I’ve never been in there with so many dogs.

I walk by the cordoned off area marked “training” and hear the rapturous yelps of canines being let out of boot camp.

I walk through the store with an arm load of Science Diet for the queens, er I mean cats. I maneuver away from the largest dogs, with their panting and desperate pleas to be taken to the haven of the car. There is a monstrous animal in the checkout lane over from the one in which I land; he is heaving great sighs in anticipation of home.

In line behind me is a growling brown animal with a face like a rat and a body like a stale loaf of bread. I inch away, making sure the leash is firmly attached to his collar. I notice a dog in miniature, perhaps a quarter pound of fur and optimism, hopping around on the end of its pink leash.

The owner of the brown rat faced dog allows a little girl to pet its head. I hold my breath, but the beast sits down and accepts the head rub. Then, and I do not know what this woman is thinking, the owner of the quarter pounder places the tiniest puppy I have ever seen upon the snout of the rat faced dog, perhaps so they can make friends.

Rat Face bares its teeth and snaps at the little dog, no doubt scraping its scull with the tip of a sharpened canine. I feel my anxiety rising, my heart’s rhythm no doubt mimicking that of the mini-mite that nearly died right there in Pet Smart.

I am so grateful when it’s nearly my turn. The lady regards my cans of cat food, but not before the dog in line ahead of me decides it’s going to police the rat faced dog in line behind me. There is a snarl and growl. I imagine a chunk of my sizable derriere being lost in the fray of these wolves battling in the checkout lane.

There it goes, a barking growl. You know the kind, the equivalent of one dog shouting at the other, “I’ve had about enough of you!”

I launch myself upon the conveyor belt, my knee catching the ledge of the credit card machine holder as I climb upon the counter. I hold myself there with the strength of my yoga arms – thus illustrating the value of all those arm exercises and handstand practices.

The woman behind the counter looks at me in perplexed shock. Her eyes are wide, her mouth is puckered with disdain and curiosity in equal measure. The woman with the spotted pooch in front of me, the dog who had quite enough of Rat Face’s antics, pulls her dog towards her, possibly so it won’t get any of my crazy stuck in its fur.

The man, whose hair matches the color of his rotten brown dog perfectly, looks at me like I showed up to audition for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest an hour too late, but still may apply as an extra.

I slide down from the conveyor belt, explaining that I didn’t know what those unpredictable beasties planned on doing back there, with my exposed feet in the potential fray of flying fur. The woman behind the register wordlessly begins scanning my Science Diet, though when asked she explained that the weekends boast a higher dog presence than the weekdays because of the trainings Pet Smart hosts.

I cast a glance back at Rat Face, intimating that someone should be held back in the first grade again to revisit some of those “trainings”.

I walk out into the hot hot afternoon. I notice the unmistakable sensation of my heart beating in my throat, like one who has been through a haunted house or narrowly avoided being sideswiped my a Monster Truck.

I slide into my car and lock the door, in case Rat Face gets any ideas. I am so glad my vacation starts tomorrow. My nervous system could use a cooling off period and there’s no better place than an urban ashram. Kashi Atlanta, here I come!

Tomorrow I’m on my way to Atlanta to see that Teacher of mine, and I’m taking several consecutive days off. All my classes early in the week are in good hands and I look forward to seeing everyone next Sunday, when I return to the Uru Yoga and Beyond schedule.

Yoga Slug

Since last week, when I spoke about having to sub Monday classes because I lost my voice, I’ve fought the good fight against the microscopic asuras (demons) of cold and flu season. Today is the first day I’ve felt mostly like myself, though more than anything I’ve just felt extra tired this week.

Feeling extra tired, I lounged at every opportunity. I taught some yoga classes and sounded like a retired lounge act with my whisky voice and throaty laugh like cat scratches on a window screen. I worked at the restaurant all weekend, too, and managed to stay in pretty good humor because I had low expectations given my energy levels. I managed to have a great weekend at work, between lounging of course.

I practiced yoga asana this week. I have homework, you see, from my most recent 500 hour teaching certification training with the teacher of my heart, Swami Jaya Devi. There are many elements to this homework and yoga practice at large, but for the rest of this article when I use the word “yoga” I mean postures and flow (moving with the breath).

Aside from doing my assigned yoga sequences, which are really fabulous and I can’t wait to teach them to you, I was pretty much a yoga slug this week. Let’s say I wasn’t very successful in my practice, and I use this specific set of words on purpose.

Someone said this to me last week, while I was mashed in the middle of yoga slug-dom myself. This person has a lot going on right now but also she is in a yoga teacher training program, too. So she has homework and stuff she has to get done; but not this week. When she made an allusion to success in yoga practice it caused new areas of my brain to light up.

From one slug to another, this is what I said, “I try (try being the operative word) to consider ebbs and flows rather than succeeding and lagging in practice, but it’s hard to do this. There’s more to yoga than mat time, though that’s very important.”

Mat time is very important. Yoga strengthens and stretches the body, saturating the blood with oxygen and bathing each cell in the subtle unseen Grace that surrounds us all the time. However yoga practice isn’t meant to be something to make us feel bad about ourselves, though sometimes I know it happens. It happens to us all.

Yoga is a weird thing. You’ll be in class having a great time, stretching those hamstrings and breathing deeply. You’ll reach your fingers to the ceiling and think, “This is great! I feel amazing! When is this gonna be over? What time is it? Maybe I’ll sneak out before savasana (arguably the best part of yoga practice).”

One interruption to practice, one hiccup in life that throws you off of your routine and BAM! No yoga for six months. Then there’s all this tension around going back. You think about it, write it on your planner, put your mat in the car; tap dancing and hedging around practice all. There’s not much difference between the tension of being a yoga slug for a week because of a cold or an extended yoga slug (which reads like a complicated supine twisting back bend posture) in which you begin to hide from practice.

This week in class we’ll be working with the push and pull of our yoga practice and how we might be able to use it in our favor. We’ll be looking at the ebb and flows of practice on the larger scale of life and the subtle rhythms of a practice session.

We’ll consciously flow into dynamic practices then ebb into the supportive arms of restorative yoga towards the end of class. Hopefully, realizing that there are many many facets to yoga practice and that many are suitable for whatever life situation the modern yogi faces, we will all find that the well trodden path is easier to return to after a hiatus than initially thought. Yoga isn’t a stick you use to beat yourself with, it’s access to your closest friend.

If you’ve never practiced restorative yoga my classes this week will offer a nice introduction to conclude a more vigorous practice.

Uru Yoga and Beyond Monday 4:30 pm and 6 pm Thursday 4 pm (Intro to Yoga Flow) and 5:30 pm open levels.

Wild Card

This week I’m going to see my teacher, Swami Jaya Devi, in Atlanta. I have four workshops a year with her for my advanced 500 hour teacher training and I love every minute of them. I also love the ashram in Atlanta, which is a mere five and a half hours away.

I know someone who is in India right this very minute. We did our training together at Dragonfly Yoga Studies in Fort Walton Beach. Now she is also doing an advanced training in Ashtanga, I think. There is a teacher from New Orleans who I adore and she and a merry band of yogis are in Bali. Travelling yogis abound and I admire every single one of them.

Atlanta is enough travelling for me. I’m the nervous type; the fraidy cat of yogis. I don’t care for travelling at all. My mind goes to all the things that could go wrong, not go right and generally terrifies me with all manner of dark imaginings.

What is interesting is that the workshop theme and title for this weekend immersion with Swami Jaya Devi is The True Surrender – Lay Down Your Fear. Yeah, that’s it, no big deal, right?

It’s interesting that since I registered for this workshop the usual neurosis that arise, the terrifying and dark imaginings that haunt me as I pick my outfits and catalog the small library I’ll take, get swatted way with (slightly) more ease.

I’ll share my theory as to why. Here they come, full tilt boogie, all the scary things that can happen while travelling in a foreign land! Buzzing like a dive bombing honey bee, scare number one tries to sting! The thought has occurred to me more than once that these are the exact thoughts that this workshop is coming for. There’s a great big trowel digging around in the weeds of my consciousness and its name be Durga.

I see the thought coming and with the alacrity of an obnoxious teenager throwing up a hand, regard this particular set of eccentricities as naturally arising due to the nature of the workshop. “Well, of course you’re here, I’m about to travel and also surrender my fear. You’re bound to show up.”

Like the mean girl at prom, just in time to see the nerdy kid having a good time, she’s going to try to ruin things. But this time, the nerdy kid brought silly string and a friend and Her name be Durga. That mean girl can talk to any one of Durga’s hands.

Who is Durga? Mighty multi-armed Goddess. The ultimate Shakti. Some simply call Her Ma.

Her many hands and multiple weapons are beheading monsters of insecurity and fear mongering demons all over Uru Yoga and Beyond already as she takes Her place on the altar in the blue room. For me She hails from Kashi Atlanta, a stunning yoga studio nestled right in the middle of Atlanta, Georgia.

Sure, She’s a Hindu deity, but She’s The Mother of Egypt, Her face feline and fearsome. She crosses cultures, seen deep and loving in Europe’s Black Madonna. She is relevant, present and undeniable – Ma.


My insecurities still arise with meaningful regularity. Already today I’ve imagined three and a half horrible things that could happen on my way out of town Friday. I find myself well armed against this thinking, even if I only have the two instead of sixteen limbs. I see my patron on a lion even though I’ll be riding in a black Dodge. The two realities overlap and I know that even though the actual workshop doesn’t begin until Friday at 7 o’clock, the work has already begun.

I would love to say that we’ll be working on this theme this week in my yoga classes. We could talk about the Abhaya mudra and the ways in which our demons of fear and insecurity can be slain by grace of the Mother. But I don’t so much instruct a theme until I’m a little practiced in it and I cannot say, dear Reader, that I’m very practiced in fearlessness.

It’s not even something I can say I’m working on. In some very real way the practices are working on me. The more I just hold still and let ’em go the more thoroughly I’ll be steeped in them – if I’m lucky. This week I’m just a wild card.

It’s always like that when I get ready to go see my Teacher. You can’t do anything with me, you can’t do nothing about it. I’ll just be a little wild and a little raw around the edges of my mind. It’s such a quick trip that changes me so much every time I make it. True change is scarier than anything I can conjure up to be afraid of. Transformation is what all of these spiritual practices are about and it can be terrifying – who in the hell will I be without this long standing neurosis? Who knows?

These practices are tools for transformation. Their name be Yoga.

In the Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, Krishna tells us, dare I say reassures us, “On this path effort never goes to waste and there is no failure. Even a little effort towards spiritual awareness will save you from the greatest fear.”



Teachers in Training

Well, we’re approaching one of my favorite times of year. If you know me, you might think I’m talking about my cat’s birthday or Halloween, which are also two of my favorite times of year. I am not talking about my own birthday or the celebration of when Hazel came to live with me, either.

I am talking about the day when the yoga teacher trainees at Uru Yoga and Beyond begin to teach yoga. I love it when that happens.

I’m a mentor in the teacher training program. I got to be this lucky because a special fantastic lady, Caroline, had been taking my yoga classes and decided she wanted to do the program last year. Uru’s owner and director developed the mentor program, in part, so my friend and I could work together. It was a most special fantastic time for us both. Now we both teach at the same studio. Check the schedule and go see her, too.

So here I am, doubly blessed because I’m in the second year of being a mentor in the training. These folks learning to teach yoga spend the first five months learning about technique, flow, sequencing, postures and alignment (not to mention all of the personal growth that begins immediately). In the fifth month of training they start practicing on the public.

It’s not unlike beauty school when the public can make an appointment with a beautician in training and get their hair done, for good or ill. Except in the case of new yoga teachers there’s no risk of chemical burns to the ears from perms gone wrong or messy side bangs accidentally cut to one’s hairline.

Being a mentor is its own practice and I still can’t believe how lucky I am. I’m a very new teacher myself in the whole scheme of things. Even so, I get to watch teachers form from the bones of devotion to practice. As they take shape as instructors their own maturity adds flesh to their shape. Confidence, shining more brightly after every moment they practice the art of instruction, becomes the luster and glow of their complexion.

That’s the news folks. The teacher trainees are taking the reins in my classes at Uru (but only for a few poses, just to practice). Everyone who attends a class in which a teacher trainee works contributes to the development of them as future yoga instructors. Just like I wouldn’t be able to do the work I love without the sweet souls who attend my classes, these women wouldn’t be able to do the work of becoming instructors without your attendance.

This is special and sacred work and we’re all in this together

Here is an Image of Ganesha, the Lord of Obstacles, both creating and destroying them for our highest good. May He continue to guide you on your way.  Namaste and Good Luck Teachers in Training.

Ganesha om

All Shook Up

When I was twenty one-ish I worked in a salon doing nails. This was not my first job doing nails but it was my favorite. I had a pretty full book at Arriba Salon and Day Spa and I loved the ladies I worked with. Every single one. I am not kidding.

The client who gave me my gift certificate for four yoga classes – just to get me to try it – with Sudevi Linda Kramer was a client at Arriba. You can see how that worked out for me (Hi Sudevi!) and if you’re not sure how that worked out why don’t you come take one of my yoga classes and find out.

I got my hair license while I was working at Arriba. Some of the girls came to my graduation hair show where I tortured some of my favorite people by doing their hair and making them walk on stage. I tried my first foils for money at Arriba. I ruined my sister’s hair at Arriba about eleven and a half years ago.

I also quit working at Arriba. I had a plan, you see. I had this boyfriend and it was all serious and I was going to move in with him and play house and be a big girl. I was going to do hair in a big box salon and get experience.

I never regretted leaving that man, but Arriba came to mind often over the years. I see some of those former co-workers often, one even comes to my yoga class sometimes. I am not so much of a hairdresser now as I am someone who does hair. I never got the business side of it but I like the relationships I have from it. I have gotten to know fellow yoga teachers better by doing their hair.

So what am I trying to say, exactly?

The salon where I work is closing at the end of the month. I think the owner will benefit from this decision but I was in a pickle. No, my clients and I were both in a pickle.

I call the sister whose hair I ruined eleven and a half years ago and tell her what I just learned – the salon where I work is closing.

“So you can go back to Arriba?” She says. It makes sense, the way she says it. Like she’d been waiting to say it.

After a couple of emails with one of the Divas, I’m happy to say I’m going back to Arriba.

It also makes me happy to say that I’m on Stay-cation this week. I planned to go see my Teacher in Atlanta. I had subs for my classes and gas in the car, but I decided today that I just want to be home for a few days. Maybe it’s all been too much, from the hectic holidays to the post New Year’s malaise when the trees are down and it’s just cold, but I felt homesick before I even left.

Maybe my life has just been like a snow globe that someone shook up real good and I just want things to settle back down and I need to take time to be able to do that. After all, when I return from Stay-cation I will be moving from one salon to another, maybe returning to where I was meant to end up all along.

Sometimes, where we are meant to be takes us down a circuitous path. Tonight I thought about everything I’ve done and the life I’ve had since I left Arriba. I was so young and I thought I had a plan. Today I’m only sure that I don’t know much at all and that the last thing I ought to do is tempt the Universe by trying to come up with a plan on my own. I know I’ll land where I’m supposed to, it’ll usually be a surprise and lots of Grace is involved.

I believe that’s how I ended up with Swami Jaya Devi, my Teacher. I believe that’s how I ended up working at Uru Yoga and Beyond. That’s how I got trained at Dragonfly Yoga during the largest teacher training group they’ve ever had before or since. I didn’t plan on any of these things happening in my life, but I’m so so grateful.

Also, all this (trying) to go with the flow is exhausting. So, for the next two days I’ll be home, resting and practicing yoga with the cats.

Monday, enjoy Amber’s instruction at Uru Yoga and Beyond at 4:30 pm and 6 pm. She teaches all levels with lots of patience and skill and you’ll really like her.

3:30 pm on Tuesday at Chip’s 24 Hour Fitness Center try the stylings of Caroline, who will work you out with such finesse your muscles will be trembling and you’ll be smiling at the same time. She is fantastic.

I’ll be back on deck Thursday at 4pm for Intro to Flow and 5:30 pm open level practice at Uru Yoga and Beyond and at Chip’s on Friday at 3:30. This weekend is a big one at Uru Yoga and Beyond with visiting instructor Michelle Baker. Check the website for more workshop details and class descriptions. Until then, you can find me here…


Featured Cat Yogi: Witch Hazel McCackle practicing one of the most challenging principles of yoga – contentment. Looks like she’s doing a great job,

Let It Flow

In Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita, Ram Dass says, “Stop ruining things for yourself with that self-conscious, judgmental holding back.”

It happens to the best of us.  I think of something possibly awesome and then get all tight in my chest around saying it or writing it or publishing it for Heaven’s sake!  Do you know how long I’ve sat on this very blog without hitting the publish button?  More than a few months.

I think of the ways in which the whole idea could go south, not work at all or, worst possible scenario – be stupid.  Self-doubt is a creeper.  You don’t always see it sneak up on you.

When I began teaching yoga classes I’d be in front of people, sometimes a lot of people, and I’d have this great cue idea or a pretty metaphor that seemed fresh and I’d squash it.  I’d go ahead and not say the thing I thought would be a good idea to say.  Ironically, there was a time in my life when I’d gladly say the thing I thought was a horrible idea to say.

One day, before class, I decided that I’d say whatever came through (that was helpful and affirmative).  The poetry in my mind that might get lost in translation?  Yup, that, too, I needed to give it a chance to get lost – or not.  This ended up being one of my favorite teaching experiences.

There was still the self-conscious judgmental holding back, too, but I’d agreed not to listen to it so much while I was guiding people into and out of yoga poses.  Oddly, as I began to let this smooth language flow through me I began to think faster and to have more ideas.

It’s like creative momentum.  Once you start a project and give it a little juice you can’t stop.  You may even have to call into work one day because that new masterpiece is coming along so swimmingly.  You give your creative self an inch and you find that you’ve got all the space in the world.

There are still times I squash the good idea or glimmer of poetry.  Sometimes I’m more self-conscious, judgmental and withholding that others.  I’m a work in progress, but the work makes the progress possible.

Until New Year’s Day, when the theme of classes will turn directly to resolutions in all of their glory, we will be exploring chipping away at some of this holding back we all get caught up in.

There is an abbreviated schedule at Uru Yoga and Beyond, please check the website for up-dates.  I will see you Monday Dec. 22, 2014 at 5:30pm and Monday Dec. 29, 2014 5:30pm for Divine Balance and Flow, where we will explore this topic further.

There are no holiday schedule changes for yoga at Chip’s 24 Hour Fitness Center.