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Yoga Sadhana - the gift of self-care

I want to talk about self-care.  More specifically, why is it that self-care is the first thing to fall by the waste side at times when we need it the most?  Is it possible to hold onto our self-care routines in the midst of chaos?

With candy corn still in my teeth I can already feel Santa's sleigh nipping at my heels.

What's in Santa's sleigh THIS year? 
A heaping helping of added financial pressure. A second page added to the "to do" list.  Another mask of forced cheerfulness to wear.  A big box of tangled Christmas lights to struggle with along with your tangled emotions.  Achy feet and achy backs wrapped in shiny paper. Plates of magic cookies that mysterious shrink your clothes.  And let's not forget the endless hours of Christmas cheer coming from every speaker!   It's the most wonderful time of the year....
For some of us this is the most stressful time of the year.  It's the time of the year when our self-care routines are put on the shelf righ…

The swami laughed

In my never ending search for "enlightenment" I have had many interesting adventures.  Once, I went with my friend Cristina to a meditation group at some random person's house which neither of us knew.  Turned out that it was a Buddhist prayer group.  Another time I found myself in a small room over a motorcycle shop which said "meditation" on the door. When I walked in a man was there with his back to me.  I took off my shoes and waited for him to greet me.  That time I awkwardly backed out of the room forgetting my shoes.  Oh, and then there was this time that I found myself sitting in a gorgeous backyard on the Main Line where I listened to a swami give a talk about making time for God in your life.  That adventure gave me some really powerful insights and advice that I still go back to often. 
This morning I was thinking about the time I went to the mind, body, spirit expo.  It was a long time ago.  The large room was filled with all sorts of "new age&…

A hawk's message

All of a sudden, I find myself in a situation that I really thought I'd finally broken free of.  What the hell just happened?  Who hit the rewind button??  I'm dizzy from the sudden plunge back into the  bat-shit crazy that I thought was behind me.  For just a split second I lose my footing and slip back into fear.  
I re-group; catch my breath; forward is the only option. 
It always shocks me how quickly fear takes hold.  Like a noose around my neck making it hard to breath.  From fear comes worry.  I start to pace the floor.  My mind is racing.  Why?  Why is this happening again?   I did all the right things to prevent this.  I took the necessary steps to move forward.  Why am I back here? 
From worry comes self-doubt. Maybe I made a mistake.  Maybe there's still more to learn from this experience. Maybe there's still karma I need to work out. Maybe I'm just meant to suffer.  Maybe a calm, peaceful existence isn't in the cards for me.  Maybe this is my penanc…

Emotions are inconvenient

Yesterday a yoga student shared with me the devastating news that her son had died suddenly.  As I hugged her I could feel my heart breaking for her.  She was living every mother's worst fear.  I didn't know how to respond when she said  "I don't know how to go on..."

A few weeks ago my own daughter experienced a life threatening event as a result of complications in childbirth.  One minutes we are in Kutztown celebrating my daughter's graduation from college and next I'm sitting in the emergency room at 1am with my son.  He had emergency surgery to remove his appendix.  I no sooner got him home and settled and I'm back at the ER with my oldest.  During the days leading up to and following the birth of my granddaughter I was running back and forth between the hospital with Amanda and home to check on Jake as he recovered from surgery.

The past month of working, teaching yoga, taking care of household chores while tending to the needs of my family has …

The lady in the purple gloves

Today we said farewell to the lady in the purple gloves.  What a beautiful tribute to a remarkable lady.  Her daughter wearing a red dress made me smile.  Earlier today I was sharing a story about MJ with my yoga class.  One day MJ came to yoga  wearing beautiful purple gloves.  When I remarked about how beautiful they were she replied  "I'm an old woman now so I can wear purple".  You see, only old women can wear purple gloves and a red hat that didn't go.... 
I was thinking about all the thoughtful little trinkets MJ would bring me when she came for yoga. The little angel medal, the prayer card from her pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, the little purple lump of clay with a smiley face, the mala bracelet, just to name a few.  I thought about bringing some of the trinkets to give to her great-grandchildren.  Instead, when I arrived at the service, her children had set up "Granny's flea market" so that everyone who came to pay their respects could t…

Words, words, everywhere!!

Tonight at dinner my daughter asked me why I haven't been posting anymore.  "You should start posting again, I liked reading it." she said.   So... Here you go, Tayler.

In January, I decided that this blog had come to an end.  I felt like there are so many people in yoga-land speaking so many words that it seemed pointless for me to add to the whirlwind of words.

I'm still not sure I have anything worthwhile to say that others haven't already said more eloquently than I but Tayler's words inspired me.

Words have power.  The way we use our words matters.  Interestingly, I've been learning about the power of words by keeping quiet.  Silence speaks volumes.  It's the act of listening that teaches us the power of words. I feel the power of them in my gut.   I've been using my ears as filters.  I have the power to choose which words I take in and digest and which words I let just pass right on through.

In yoga-land, we use mantras.  Mantras are sound v…

Reflections

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking,  because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings. Always believe in yourself” – Unknown
Maybe it's seeing Facebook's "Year in review" posts or maybe it's that the New Year is fast approaching but I find myself spending a lot of time reflecting.   This morning the above quote came to mind.  "wings were made to fly" I kept thinking.  
2016 was a rough year but It's also the year I learned to fly
2016 was the year I got divorced but It's also the year I took my life back
2016 was the year of endings but  It's also the year of new beginnings
2016 was the year of hard lessons about friendship but  It's also the year I learned to be my own best friend
2016 was the year of sadness but  It's also the year I learned that I'm no longer afraid of the dark
2016 was the year of struggles but  It's also the year I learned how strong I am 
2016 was the year of financial c…