Saturday, June 25, 2011

Show up & Breathe

I have a juicer that I used every day for about a year to make green juice (kale, cucumber, apple & lemon - an acquired taste, my husband would say).

Then I got pregnant & couldn't stand the sight of green juice, let alone the taste.

Now our son is 2 & I keep trying to get back on track with the juice:)

Before our son, it always seemed really easy.  At the time, were living in a studio apartment & I was teaching quite a few 6am classes every week.  My husband basically works nights, so some mornings I would even get up extra early & juice in the bathroom so the noise wouldn't wake him. 

Since our son was born though, juicing has been challenging. Keeping the produce stocked in the house, finding the time to juice & keeping the juicer clean.

It's the same process as before, but somehow, it seems more complicated.

Now, it may be that my life has more moving pieces than before - our 2 year old son who is always moving!  My own yoga studio to manage (  But I love to drink green juice - it makes me feel better & I know it is great for me.  And honestly, its not complicated & it doesn't take long.

So what is it?  Recently I've stopped thinking about it.  Instead of creating obstacles & excuses, I just do it.  Keep the produce stocked, wash, cut, peel & juice.  And clean up afterward.  No big deal.  It only takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.

And suddenly, juicing is simple again.

It's like that with alot of things in life.  We make them more complicated than they need to be.  Our thinking mind creates reasons & stories & excuses about how complicated it is & why we don't have time & why it's ok to not have time & why other things are so much more on & so on. 

I see it all the time as a teacher of yoga.  The practice I teach is so simple - show up & breath & the rest will follow.  Keep it simple - a commitment to yourself.  You don't need special clothes or a fancy mat - you don't need to stand on your hands or wrap your leg around your neck.  Show up & breathe.

Now that may mean only 5 or 10 minutes on your mat at home some days.  But other days that may mean a 90 minute practice in the studio.  

Once you quiet your thinking mind, once you feel that commitment to yourself - your body, spirit & mind - it becomes simple.  Even when the rest of your life seems very complicated (and that's when you need your practice the most).

Show up & breathe.  That's your practice.  That's your life.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My studio ( is located on East Main St. in Torrington, CT (the website address is Franklin St - that's our entrance in the back of the building).

I recently read an article in the local paper that talked about the location of a municipal parking lot relative to Main St., Torrington.  The point of the article was to address complaints about lack of parking on Main St., and the article showed that the walk from the parking lot to Main St. wasn't much father than walking thru one of those big "box" stores.  What surprised me was the critical response that this article drew from readers. (I'm intentionally not going to get into that here). 

I moved back to Northwest CT few months ago after living in the Boston area for years.  For years, I drove 60-90 in minutes in traffic into Boston to work & teach.  Now I drive 10 minutes to teach at my studio (no traffic!).  Have you ever tried to find a parking spot on a busy day in Boston?!  Have you tried crossing the street in Boston?!  Yikes!!!  For me, parking & walking in Torrington is no big deal.  I walk from my studio to the stores on Main St. every week.  I walk to the Library, which is next to the Municipal Lot.  I walk with my 2 year old - we go for smoothies & the talk with other business owners.  I like being "downtown".

Torrington was a thriving factory town at one point in time.  Over the years, Main St. Torrington has gone the way of Main St. America.  Stores have moved out, some storefronts are vacant.  People choose to shop on-line or visit big chain stores.  There's not alot of foot traffic.  Main St. Torrington, like many Main Streets across the country, is not what it used to be.  

But, Main St. Torrington also has some real bright spots.  There are some great stores & restaurants - all owned by really great people.  And there are alot of people who see the potential in the town & who are making an effort to improve it, as best they can.

Like I said, compared to Boston, driving, parking & walking in Torrington is a piece of cake!  And Torrington has some great people with great businesses.  They've been supportive of us & the studio & for that I am truly grateful.  I could never have opened this studio in the Boston area.  For me, while Torrington does need improvement, it is also a place that holds great potential.  It may never be what it was, but who knows, maybe it can be something better.  It just depends on how you look at it.
It's like anything in your life.  The way you see things is everything.  It doesn't matter where you live or what you do.  If you want to feel better & be happier, look for the bright spots.  Find gratitude whenever you can.  A little shift in the way you see things makes a big difference.  You'll create a shift in your life.  You will feel better & happier.  You'll find more to be happy about, more often.  And then that shift will be felt & shared by others. 

Gandhi said "be the change you want to see in the world".

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pennies Make Dollars

I see pennies everywhere I go. Mostly on the ground, in the parking lot, on the sidewalk, at the carwash.  And I'll always stop to pick one up.  Even the icky, dirty ones. 
My mother always said "pennies make dollars".  And she was right. When I added up all the pennies in our coin jar, where we deposit our spare change, we had collected over 1000 pennies - that's more than $10! 
When I see a penny a on the ground, waiting there for me, I see it as a sign of abundance.  A gift from the Universe.  I know it's not the winning mega millions ticket, but it's nice surprise & it never fails to make me smile.  It's even better if I'm with someone & I can give the penny to that person (you know, "find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck. Give that penny to a friend & your luck will never end).
Abundance is all around us & within each of us.  The leaves on trees, the flowers in bloom.  The food you eat, the bed you sleep in.  The people in your life.  The strength, joy, humor, compassion & creativity within you. 
Abundance can be easy to overlook, just like it's easy to overlook those pennies. 
Take a moment & take inventory - of all that you do have to be grateful for.  Like attracts like.  A feeling a gratitude for the abundance in your life attracts more abundance.
Just like pennies make dollars.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Time Zone Do You Live In?

I am fortunate that my yoga teaching schedule at my studio, Sanctuary Power Yoga (, allows me to spend most of my time with our two year old son.  Unfortunately my husband, who works full-time, doesn't get to spend as much time with us as he would like.

On his days off, my husband jokes that it takes him a while to adjust to "two year old" time.  If you have small child you know what this means. 

This means, you can't just get your shoes on & head out the door for a walk with the dogs.

It means you have to stop & check out the dinosaur that was dropped & forgotten under the table the night before.

It means as you're putting on your sweater, you have to zip & unzip & re-zip it several times.

It means you need to stop & grab the banana on the table & take it with you.

It means you have to stop & smell grammie's flowers.

It means you have to stop and check out the tractor next door...every time you walk by it.

Basically, when you're on two year old time, it means that everything slows down.  Way down.

Now, you have a choice.  You can try to speed things up, but that generally creates a struggle & unhappiness for everyone involved.

Or, you can go with the flow.  You can embrace this new time zone.  Where things don't get done quickly.  Where things are often left undone (dishes, dirty laundry) because your child wants your attention & wants to play with you & he really doesn't think it matters if the house is tidy or not.

I love two year time.  I know our son won't be two for very long - he grows & changes every day - all children do.  So I adjust to his time zone.

And the truth is, I think most of us would be alot happier if we made the time switch.  There'd be more stopping to smell the flowers, more holding doors open for others, more enjoyment of the little things in life. 

Yoga asks us to do what most two year olds ask us to do...slow down.  Relish waking up.  Embrace the people in your life.  Take in the beauty in the day around you.  Enjoy this minute in your life. 

Try it.  Take a trip to a different time zone.   Be grateful for this moment...this moment is your life.