Saturday, January 28, 2012

Choose your medicine

"In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?"
~ Gabrielle Roth

Think about it...these days, if you went to your Doctor complaining of being disheartened, dispirited or depressed, you'd probably be prescribed a pill.  In fact, you could probably tell your Doctor which pill you want (at least, that's what all the commercials say "...tell your Doctor").

There's a pill for everything - whatever ails you, there's a pill out there that will take care of it.  And that's not to say that I'm not tremendously grateful for modern medicine, because I am.  It's just that a pill, the quick fix, isn't always the answer.

The practice of yoga is just that - a practice.  It takes time.  It takes commitment.  It takes self- discipline.  It requires you to sit with yourself, in silence.  To face your deepest fears.  To embrace your whole self fully.  

When I read the above  quote, I thought "this is what yoga is all about".  Yoga is a dance.  Your spirit sings.  You become re-enchanted in the story of yourself.  You take comfort in the sweet silence of your quiet mind.  Whatever you feel you are missing from your life, I believe yoga can help you find it...within yourself.

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


Friday, January 20, 2012

Is yoga good for you?

There's been alot of activity in the yoga world this week - alot of back & forth about yoga & whether or not it's good for you.  Personally, my life is better with yoga in it.  Every time I practice yoga, I feel better & I am grateful that the Universe brought this practice into my life.

If you've read my blog before, you know I have been teaching heated power yoga for more than 10 years & have my own studio, Sanctuary Power Yoga.  I have my 200 hour certification through Yoga Alliance & have taught with & learned from, many gifted, talented teachers.

Part of what I teach is asana - physical poses.  It's these physical posesthat attracts so many people in our culture.  Part of the attraction is the movement - the vinyasa, the flow.  Not many of us are ready to sit down & meditate for 60 or 90 minutes.  Part of the attraction is the prospect of losing weight, getting stronger, more physically fit.  I believe that for every person who comes in the door, there's a distinct, special reason that brings them to the practice.  I also believe that whatever the reason, at the heart of that reason is self-care.  It may not manifest as that initially, but I believe that if you scratch beneath the surface of weight loss or "just looking better" you find that people want to feel better.  Feel better about themselves & who they are.

Unfortunately, in many cases we've been conditioned to do more, push harder, "feel the burn".  And that can lead to injury.  Not just when practicing asana, but when doing anything.  Although you're pushing yourself physically, there's a real disconnect from your physical body.  You're listening to your ego & voices from the past (and present) telling you that you're good enough, that you shouldn't "wimp out".  You're not listening to your body...or your heart...or your spirit. And you wind up beating yourself up.  And it doesn't feel good on so many levels.

I said that part of what I teach is asana.  The other part of what I teach is yoga.  That's not to say that asana, the physical piece, isn't yoga, but it's only a small part of yoga.  So yes, I teach asana.  But as I teach that,  I also teach about the other pieces of yoga.  I teach self-care - listening to your body, your heart & spirit - and learning to trust yourself.  I teach breathing (pranayama), I teach compassion, love & non-violence (yamas), contentment (niyamas), focus (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and the possibility of samadhi.

To an outsider (and sometimes to a new student) it may look & feel like I'm just teaching a physical workout.  Squats, lunges, pushups.  But that's only a part of it.  I'm teaching yoga - I'm teaching to a person's whole being.  From my whole being.  I'm teaching to their body, their mind, their heart & their spirit. And I'm asking them to feel connected to all that.  I'm asking them to feel their littlest toe on the ground.  And their heart swelling to the sky.  In this moment.

That's integration, union - all the pieces of yourself uniting & becoming whole again.  That union is yoga.  It feels good.  And that has to be good for you.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I'll admit it, I've been known to get sucked into some of those "reality" dating shows.  Not quality programming, as far as I'm concerned.  And really, nothing but a waste of time. (No offense to anyone out there who loves these shows or who might be involved with them).

Here's the could "fall in love" with just about anyone, on those shows.  Participants are sent off to beautiful, exotic locations.  They stay in wonderful accommodations.  They have nothing to worry to about when they're there.  They simply need to focus on themselves & "finding love".

Back at, bills, traffic, sick kids or parents, a broken car,'s a different story.

As crazy as this sounds, the same holds true for yoga.  Practicing yoga is comparatively easy when you go off on a retreat.  When you remove yourself from the details & demands of your everyday life.  When you surround yourself with like minded people.  And your only concern is practicing your yoga.  Pretty easy.

Back at, bills, traffic, sick kids or parents, a broken car,'s a different story.  These things become obstacles & excuses as to why we can't practice.  

Maintaining a loving relationship in the face of the demands & details of everyday life can be challenging. Rewarding & worth it beyond words, but challenging.

Practicing yoga in the face of the demands & details of everyday life can be challenging. Rewarding & worth it beyond words, but challenging.

Finding time for yourself, to get on your mat, and practice asana (the physical poses).  Finding the strength & patience to practice yamas & niyamas (the "10 commandments" of yoga).  This is challenging in the face of your everyday life - but this is where you need it the most.  This is where you, and everyone around you, will benefit the most.

Your practice is meant to be taken off your mat - into your everyday life.  What you learn in the studio, on your mat, at a retreat, in a bootcamp - this is meant to be carried into your everyday life.  And by taking your yoga off your mat, by living your yoga, you show others how they too can benefit from this practice.

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

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I pass a local gym on the way to my studio, Sanctuary Power Yoga (  It has a sign out front about joining. It lists the monthly cost & says "no commitment".

Now, I get it - it means you can sign up for one month & not have to commit to a year of paying your monthly membership fee if you change your mind about the place.

But it strikes me as commitment.

I get a lot of questions about what it takes to join Sanctuary.  You don't have to join, there aren't membership fees.  Anyone can show up for any class.  You can pay for one class at a time.  You can buy a series of classes or purchase a monthly unlimited pass - lots of options.  For me, yoga is about options & making the practice accessible to everyone.

But yoga does take one thing - commitment.

Commitment to yourself.  To your health & well-being.  To peace of mind.  To feeling better.

You name it, and you'll find it on your mat.

But you need to make that commitment.

Whether it's yoga, or going to the gym, or biking, or walking - it does require commitment.  And it does take time.  There aren't any quick fixes, (despite what some commercials would have you believe).

And that's the great thing about yoga - with that commitment to yourself, you can begin anytime, anywhere.  You just need to show up. And keep showing up.

Make the commitment.

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