Sunday, April 29, 2012

Save Yourself First

I met with a group of very dear friends recently.  Strong, smart, funny women that I have know since High School.

We were talking about the demands of modern life.  Specifically, we were talking about the demands of being a woman.  But really, it applies to everyone.

There's always someone who needs you, something that need your attention - it's constant.  Especially in this day & age with cell phones & email, when you can almost always be reached immediately.  And people expect an immediate response from you.  It can drain you.

One of my friends shared (only half jokingly) her motto..."save yourself first".  (Giving credit where credit is due, she said she had picked it up from her cousin & dear friend).

Save yourself first.

She told us her motto & then she gave the analogy of being on airplane that was going down.  The airmasks drop.  Your first instinct may be to help your child or your parent.  But if you don't put that airmask on yourself first, you can't help anyone.

Save yourself first.

I tell this to my students all the time...just not in those exact words.

When you get on on your mat - let it be about you.  Put yourself first.  Don't share your practice with anyone in your head. (If you want to physically bring them into class with you, that's another story).  But if you spend the whole time thinking about other people, worrying about them & what you need to do for them - you've given the time & the practice to them.  It becomes a practice for them, rather than for you.  And that time on your mat should be just for you & all about you, in the best possible way.
The effort that you make to find the time for you on your mat...use it to focus on you.  Replenish yourself.  Renew your energy.  Take care of your body, your mind, your heart, your spirit.

And then you can focus on others - then you're better prepared for it.

Make time for yourself. Find time for your practice.

Save yourself first.

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I don't know why I like Yoga so much...

One of my students said to me recently that she didn't know why she liked yoga so much.  She'd done the gym, rhumba - all that stuff.  And found that Yoga really resonated with her.

 I think we spend alot of our lives being to told what to think & how to feel.  We're told what we're good at & what we're not good at.  We're told what we should do & what we shouldn't do.  And somewhere along the way, we lose our way.  We lose the joy that resides in our spirit & our heart.

And then you get on your yoga mat (with a compassionate teacher) & Yoga tells you..."you are just right the way you are".  Yoga says you can drop all the labels when you get on your mat - you don't have to be a teacher, or a mother, or a father, or a partner, or a parent, or a doctor, or can just be you.  Yoga explains that you aren't all about worry & stress & fear.  Yoga lets you know that you don't have to be responsible for anyone else while you're on your mat.  That you don't have to fix anything or anyone while you're practicing.

Yoga tells you that you can can let can be you.

And you might not even know who you are when first start your yoga journey.  You might not know what you feel because you've been told what to feel & think for so long.  It becomes a process of getting to know yourself again.  Finding the joy that does in fact reside in your spirit & your heart.

Sometimes the journey is a rocky one.  Sometimes you wander away from the practice & then something brings you back.  But the more you practice, the better you feel.  The lighter & brighter you become.  Because you come back to joy & learn to love yourself just the way you are. 

This is why I teach.  Because yoga has helped me find myself again.  It helps me find joy & I feel lighter & brighter when I practice.  And that is something that I want to share with everyone.

When I try to explain this practice to people, it's challenging.  Because its much more than what you see.  Just like each of us...there's so much more to each of us than what you see.

That inexplicable reason for liking yoga...because you feel good.  Because you find you.  It really is something to be experienced for yourself.

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

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How does it make you feel?

I feel very lucky in writing my blog because most of the time, it flows effortlessly for me.  Someone says something or I have a thought & it sparks an idea, which then blossoms into a blog post.  I know it's right, because it does flow & it feels good.  I'm connected with Source, I open myself up to whatever is out there, and before I know, the blog is finished.  It's very similar to the way I teach.  And it feels good.

Today, as I was about to get on my mat to practice, my Mother told me about something that was going to be on TV later in the day & it sparked something in me.  As I started my practice, thoughts came together & I was writing my blog in my head.  I paused on my mat, and typed my blog out on my phone.  It didn't take long & when I was finished, I went right back to my practice.

As I practiced, what I had written stayed with me...which is unusual, because usually once I write it down, I let it go.  But I kept coming back to what I had written & it felt it off - I felt off.  I felt off-balance & almost angry.  And I finally realized that I written a rant, rather than a blog.

Now, I know alot of blogs out there are exactly that - rants.  Usually about things that the blogger doesn't like.  And that's fine for them.  But for me, I try to make my blogs about what I want to see more of.  It's the Law of Attraction...I hope & believe that if I write about good things that are going on (like practicing yoga & taking that practice off your mat), then maybe it will lead to more people feeling better & doing better & maybe the world will become a better place.  And I use how I feel when I write as my guidance system - if it doesn't feel good, it probably isn't a good idea.  And if I don't feel good, I try to think about & reach for something that feels better.

So as I continued to practice, I realized that in what I had just written there was alot of focus on the negative.  Things that I think are wrong.  And writing them all down just made me feel worse...a little angry, a little off-balance.  And it took me almost my whole practice to work out those feelings.

In talking with a student not long ago, she started to tell me about some trouble she was having with her computer.  And then she stopped abruptly & pretty much said she didn't need to elaborate & go into detail was enough to say that it had left her feeling overwhelmed.  She got it.  She recognized in that moment that if she brought the whole thing up again & went into details about everything that had happened & gone wrong - she was going to feel lousy & overwhelmed again...just as she had at the time when she had the problem with her computer.  She chose instead to stop & re-align her energy.  She kept it simple.  She was having a good day, she'd just had a good practice - she was feeling good & wanted to keep it that way.  Enough said.

And so it was the same with what I had written.  My intention in writing was to spark some positive energy in the people who would read it.  But I realized that if it was mostly negative & made me feel bad, it probably wasn't going to make anyone else feel good.

So I've left what I wrote where it is - saved on my phone.  Until I figure out a way to turn it around & re-align the energy of it so that it feels productive & good.

And instead, I wrote this.  And this flowed easily & it feels good.  I know that sometimes you do need to talk about bad things that have happened.  That you need to release them from your heart & spirit & body & that the only way to do so is to talk about it.  And I respect that.

But I also know that repeating the same negative story over & over & over again, just brings me back to the way I felt at the time...not good.  And I want to feel good.  I want to be happy.  We all do.

So next time you start to think or talk about things that aren't right, take a moment & see how you feel.  How you feel before you shift your attention to the negative.  If you're having a good moment & feel good - stay with it, enjoy it.  If you're feeling not-so-great, instead of lowering your energy even more - reach for thoughts & words & images that make you feel better.  This is what the practice of yoga is all about.  Feeling better.  And you can practice it anywhere, anytime.

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilt Juice

The other day I was driving to the studio to teach & was really in my head.  I was thinking not-so-nice thoughts about someone...nothing terrible, just things about someone that I maybe wasn't so crazy about & how that someone "made" me feel not-so-great.

And as I slowed to stop at a light, my tall cup of juice tipped over in the cupholder of my car & spilled everywhere.

It was alot of juice & it was juice that I had just made.  It was really good (it was going to be my breakfast) & now it was in my cupholder, all over the center console & on the floor.

I admit - there was that moment of "Oh No!" - and I might have used a choice word:).  But then I sighed, looked for some napkins (I had a few) & just did the best I could to wipe up the mess & move on.

It got my attention - that's for sure.  It got me out of my head.  It immediately felt like a reminder from the Universe to be present, to enjoy what going on around me at that was a beautiful day & I was joyful to be headed to the studio to teach.  It was a reminder to let go of negative thoughts about that person & instead find the qualities about them for which I was grateful.  It was a reminder that I could shift how I felt, just by shifting my thinking & becoming present.

When I'm teaching, I remind my students all the time to breathe & be present.  I remind them that we all have the power to shift how we feel by shifting the way we think.  If you're on your mat practicing yoga, but you're thinking about how much you dislike your're missing out on time for yourself.  You're missing the joy of the moment & the practice.  And you miss the opportunity to feel better.

If you're driving in your car on a beautiful day, after having just spent time with your wonderful family, on your way to teach yoga to a wonderful group of  people in a studio that you love, but you're thinking negative thoughts...well, you get it...I was missing out.

It was a great reminder for me.  We all need reminders & they come in different shapes in sizes - you just have to be open to them.  For me, it was a reminder to practice my yoga off my mat.  To take a breathe or two, get present & enjoy all that the moment & the day had to offer.

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

Sunday, April 1, 2012


During the Holidays, I read a couple moving articles about people helping people.  Some were helping in big ways - anonymously paying off bills for others.  Some were helping in small ways - stopping to change a tire for a stranger.

In the stories that I read, the who received helped referred to the strangers who helped them as "Angels".

Angels are different things to different people.  I believe that Angels do live among us & are always helping us - sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways.  To me, Angels are about intention.  The intention to help & expect nothing in return.  And it doesn't have to be fancy, with bells & trumpets & streaming light.  Just that intention to make it better day for someone else out there.

Angels pop in when you least expect them & disappear just as quickly & quietly.  But they leave a big impression.  And the suggestion that anyone, yes anyone, can be an Angel.

The Holiday seasons seems like so long ago - Spring is upon us, Summer will be here soon.  But Angels & their intentions are a reminder that the spirit of the Holiday season can continue all year long.  Peace on Earth...Goodwill toward others...Giving Thanks...Hope.  That's what Angels bring.

Angels helping people.  People helping people.  We all have Angels around us & the possibility to be an Angel within us.

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