Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are you Ready?

We recently posted information about our 2012 teacher training program on our website (, and since then I've been getting alot of questions.

The general thread that runs through many of the questions runs along the lines of "I'm not good enough/my practice isn't strong enough/ there's alot I don't know & can't do - am I ready?"

When I began teaching, there was no Yoga Alliance certification program for teachers.  There were programs out there - but completing a 200 hour certified course wasn't a requirement for teaching yoga. 

I can remember standing in the lobby of the studio where I had been practicing regularly, when the owner asked me if I had ever thought about teaching yoga.

My immediate reply was a long-winded answer about wanting to attend this retreat & that immersion program in preparation for teaching...about wanting to be ready first.
As I finished speaking, I noticed the sign on the board that said something to the effect of " yoga teachers wanted".

He meant - had I thought about teaching NOW.

I had thought about teaching, but in an abstract, distant-future way.  Was I ready to teach - no way.  But was I going to pass up this opportunity - no way.

(and thank goodness I didn't, because it was the start on the path to where I am today).

And so I started teaching power yoga.  I did some informal training, attended various retreats & seminars, but most of what I learned, I learned as I taught & took class from others.  I learned what to do...and equally important, what not to do.

(and thank goodness for all those kind students who suffered through my early classes).

When I started teaching, there were alot of poses I couldn't do...there are still poses I can't do.  And there are poses I might never be able to do.  

When I started teaching, I hadn't been practicing all that long - there was alot I didn't know.  And there's still more that I want to know - I believe you never stop learning.

When I started teaching, I wasn't ready.  But I'm not sure when I would have felt really ready - there's always more in this practice to learn & try & do.

So when people ask me this question - about being ready - I always say, it's not about what you can't do, it's about what you can do.

If you can get on your mat & work with your body with where it is today - you're ready. 

If yoga brings you joy & light & you want to spread that joy & light - you're ready.

If you're ready to look inside & get to know yourself really well - you're ready.

If getting on your mat challenges you & you wonder how you can stay calm & centered on (and off) your mat - even then, you're ready.

It's not just about teacher training - it's about anything in your life that you want.  If you wait until everything in your practice is just right....until everything in your life is just right - you may never be ready.

What you learn on your mat, is that you are often ready...even when you think you aren't. 

You can now find my blog at the Register Citizen: http:  

Monday, September 19, 2011


Every where you go, it seems you see signs that tell you what you can't do:

"no parking"

"no left turn"

"no loitering"

"no shirt, no shoes, no service"

One of my friends owns a toy store (Toy Jam - check it out!) and she commented about this. She said she tries to avoid these kinds of signs in her store because of the negative energy that she feels goes along with them.  She's absolutely right.

It doesn't end there.  Undoubtedly, at some point in your life you've been told what you can't do:

" no, you can't - you're too short/tall"

"no, you can't - you're not smart enough"

Enough of that, right!!

One of the things that I love about yoga is that it's all about "YES".

"YES - you CAN"

Yoga teaches that you can do it - whatever "it" is.

Whatever your age, size, shape - you can practice yoga.  It is accessible to every-body.

It is a practice of saying "yes" to yourself.

Whether it's "yes, it's ok for me to rest now" or "yes - I can try a handstand today & I don't care how I look".

Once learn to say yes, the possibilities are endless...on & off your mat!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you?

I remember when I was young, and my mother would talk about the day President Kennedy was shot.  Whenever she talked about it, she always said she could remember where she was & what she was doing.  She said that was something she would never forget.

At the time, I don't think I got it.  For a long time, I don't think I got it.

Then September 11th, 2001 happened.  I remember, like many of you I'm sure, where I was & what I doing on that day.  When I first heard the news of what had happened & as events unfolded.

I remember the sorrow.  I remember the fear & uncertainty & the disbelief.  I remember the anger.

When I remember what happened, my heart goes out to all those who were lost that day.  My heart goes out to all those who lost someone that day.  My heart goes out to all those who were touched by what happened that day.

When I remember that day, my heart is filled with sorrow for the past....and my heart grows & expands & is filled joy & hope for the future.

As a teacher & student of yoga, Sept 11th reminds me that we can remember what happened, and remember all that was felt.  But also that we can let go of the anger & the fear & open our hearts to love.

Anger & fear divide us.  Divide us from one another & from our true selves.  They encourage more fear & more anger & eat away at us.

Opening our hearts to love, means opening our hearts to others, and reminds us that we are more alike than different.  Opening our hearts reminds us that we are all beings of love & light.  And that we need one another to survive.

Today, and every day, practice opening your heart.  Love yourself.  Send an offering of love to those in need.  Send an offering of love to people you know & people you don't.  To people who you like & love.  And people who you don't.

"Love & compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

You can now find my blog at the Register Citizen: http: 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Opportunity Knocks

I had a teacher in High School who, before an exam, would say "this is not a test, this is an opportunity". 

At the time, I didn't really appreciate the remark.  After all, in most cases I was worried about the test & wanted only to get a good grade (this was before I found yoga).

Still, it was a phrase that many of us used & repeated at the time.  Even if mostly in jest.  And it's a phrase that has stuck with me for more 25 years.

Now when I think of experience & the phrase, I get it.  It was in fact an opportunity - to show I was prepared, that I could handle the pressure of the moment & that I knew my stuff, amoung other things.

I've thought about this phrase when practicing yoga & have even related the experience of hearing it in High School to my yoga students at Sanctuary Power Yoga (

When faced with a challenging pose, one that you find difficult or just plain don't like - you're presented with an opportunity.

You have the opportunity to breathe, to stay focused & calm, and to make it through that moment with ease & Grace.

In a challenging moment in your life, when faced with a challenging boss, a difficult family member, crazy traffic - you're presented with an opportunity. 

You have the opportunity to breathe, stay calm & focused & make it through the moment with ease & Grace.

So, next time you are presented with an opportunity...what will you do?  

You can now find my blog at the Register Citizen: http: