Category Archives: Sacred Yoga

When I’ve Been Chasing My Muse All Day and I’m Tired

Suddenly after an entire day of chasing my muse, I knew what I needed to do. I needed fresh perspective.

img_20161017_113840I moved the vacuum cleaner, the table covered in things, the dust on the floor, and I placed my yoga mat by the only real bit of open wall space in our home.

I placed my forearms on the ground, fingers interlaced, head cradled in my hands.
I took three full,
deep breaths.



I pressed into my feet, lifting myself into an upside down V and took another
three full,
deep breaths.

I walked my feet in slowly, felt my hips align over my shoulders, and allowed my body to slowly,
in its own time,

One foot gently tapped the wall, followed by the other, and I let them float away, occasionally steadying themselves against the wall, until I was ready to

I took three full, slow, deep breaths in child’s pose, finding gratitude for this pause, for this reconnection, for this shift in perspective.

I went back to my desk and collected the beads, gently placing them away for the night.

I realized that all day I had been searching for words when what I needed was movement into stillness.

Because sometimes the practice of sacred becoming, with all of its vulnerability and gratitude, means giving ourselves permission to pause, to notice that we can decide the day’s work is done, to allow the movement to be the path to stillness, and to honor ourselves with compassion and patience.

This is a journey that is not complete in a single day. And even though it’s challenging at times, I’m grateful that I get to wake up tomorrow and keep traveling this path.

For the month of November we’ll be traveling the path through gratitude. Come join us.

Driving a Boat – A Practice in Aparigraha

nh-lake“You’re going to drive the boat,” she said to me, before I even made the trip up to New Hampshire. Did she even know that I had a huge fear of boats? That I was not a boat person?

It did not matter.

Two years ago at the last Lift Up that I attended, after crying and spilling out my thoughts on all sorts of things for an hour, her message was simple, “You need to get your license.”

Yes, I got my driver’s license two years ago when I was 31 years old. There was so much wrapped up in that story, and the freedom she gave me with that push has been pure magic.

And so I can’t say I was actually surprised to hear her words.

“Are you going to come home next year flying a plane?” Jon asked me. We laughed.


The morning I left for New Hampshire I was full of anxiety. It was coming full circle. Two years ago I was on the verge of getting my license, and here I was now preparing for a solo seven hour road trip. It felt big to me, yet I knew I could do it.

A few days before I’d been on a boat for the first time in over a decade and I Not even a little. Even though I was with close friends, and Chloe was by my side reassuring me. So this idea of me driving a boat still seemed quite impossible.

So much seems impossible before we prove to ourselves that we can do it.


I arrived at the lake house and circled with some of the bravest, strongest women I know. We did the hard work of holding space for each other and of allowing ourselves to speak our truth. We talked a lot of the things we need to talk about that we don’t. We gave ourselves permission to feel less alone.


on-the-waterOn the final morning, the water was perfectly still and there did not seem to be any boats on the water. This was in deep contrast to a few weeks before, choppy water and boats everywhere you looked.

We got in the boat and I felt calm.

She couldn’t get the boat started and I offered to try. I got it on my first attempt, and we were off.

We cruised through the water, taking in the mountains, the trees beginning to change their leaves from green to orange, and the various houses we saw along the way.

We came to a no wake zone and she said, “This is where we teach people how to drive the boat.”

And she taught me. And I did it. And it was wonderful.

It was a reminder to me of the stories that we build up so much they become the myths that we live our lives by, they become how we label ourselves (I am not a boat person).


When we stepped back onto land, I found that I felt more grounded than I have in a long while. And it was in this moment that I learned a new story about myself: Water grounds me.


Our stories are forever changing, yet sometimes we cling to the old drafts as if they are written in stone and can never be changed. Shifting this is the work of aparigraha.

In The Yamas and Niyamas, Deborah Adele writes,

“Anything we cling to creates a maintenance problem for us. The material items that we hoard, collect, buy because they are on sale or take because they are “free,” all take up space and demand our attention. Storage boxes and sheds become an easy way to fool ourselves. Subtle attachments come in the form of our images and beliefs about ourselves, about how life should be, about how others should be. These images keep us in bondage to our own learning and growth. Clutter in our physical space blocks our ability to physically move, while clutter in our minds blocks our freedom to expand and have space for the next thing life wants to bring us.”

Can we let go of the clinging to the stories that block our freedom?

Can we honor the stories and then release them and in doing so create more space for who we are becoming?


driving-the-boatI drove almost 800 miles by myself. I drove a boat. I discovered that old stories were just that – stories and not truth, and I discovered new stories about myself that I will do my best not to cling to, knowing that they too are ever changing.

When we practice aparigraha, nonpossessiveness, we give ourselves the space to stretch out, to see the possibility within us, and to trust that we get to write what comes next.

With Love and Gratitude,


Feeling the Extremes to Find Center

Lao Tzu quote image

This Is the heart of what she was trying to teach us. As we settled in, she let us know that this class would be different than the others. She would teach us a sequence and then we would be on our own to move with the flow of our own energy.

Do not worry about remembering the sequence. Be guided by your body, by how you feel.

And so we began. She led us through the first sequence and then handed the practice over to us. I felt almost immediately frustrated. I tried to remember. I questioned if I was doing it ‘right’ and I got so lost in my head. All of those things she had given us permission to let go of, I held onto tightly.

The tears that had been burning in my eyes all morning returned and I was deeply grateful when the time came to rest in pigeon pose.

The next time, I went immediately to child’s pose, giving my mind the break, and that’s when the tears began pouring out of me. I could feel that my body needed to move. I could feel that without the distraction of movement the emotion and tears flowed like a river. I felt stormy inside my belly.

I had found two extremes. I found movement that ignited frustration and anxiety. I found stillness that made me feel antsy and soaked in tears.

Sometimes we need to feel the extremes to find the Tao, or the Way.

In our final sequence, I gave myself the permission she had been giving us all along. I gave myself the permission Lao Tzu had given me when he said, “let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

I knew I needed to move my body. I knew I needed simplicity of movement.

I flowed through sun salutations, following my breath, reaching my heart forward, and tucking it back inside, until she guided us to come back to downward dog and then to rest.

She had said before we began that all the waves of the ocean are different, and together they make up the ocean. She likened watching us to this same image, sharing how powerful it was to see our bodies all guided to moving in the way that felt natural for us.

When we tear down the wall of resistance, when we give ourselves the permission to flow with our needs and desires, we not only perhaps catch a glimpse of the Tao, we catch a glimpse of the home that resides within.

With Love and Gratitude,
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Finding Yourself on the Mat

Savasana, or corpse pose, is the hardest yoga pose for me.  At the end of a physical practice, however intense, it is here, in final resting pose, where I often have to work my hardest.  The beauty of spending time in this pose is to relax into your body, to accept the work that you’ve done in your practice, both physically and mentally, and to enter into a blissed out state of ahhh.  This is what I strive for, but it is here where my mind wanders.

During practice, my mind is often so focused on what my body is doing that it doesn’t run away and play.  As my body stills for savasana, my mind picks up the pace again.  This is where I find my meditation practice on the mat, where I need to remind myself to let the thoughts float by but to remained unengaged from them.  What mood will Chloe be in?  What are we eating for dinner?  What’s left on my to do list?  Let these pass by, like clouds in the sky, and focus on the third eye.  So I do that, for a minute, and then I find myself in the middle of creating a plan for what comes next.   Stop! I say to myself. This is my last little bit of me time for the night, where I can really relax and just be here.

As with most things in life, the ease of mediation comes with practice.  There are days where my mind will relax and be still and days when it dances around my quiet body.  The key is to have patience with self.  There is no need to judge how long you can sit without a thought distracting you away from where you are, in the here and now.  Let that moment pass and bring your awareness back to what matters most – you.  It is in the quiet moments, whether they are many or few and far between, when we tap into ourselves, that we begin to cultivate this inner awareness.

Inevitably, as the teacher encourages the small movements of fingers and toes, I have finally gotten my mind to rest, to focus on nothing, on everything all at once, and I roll over and come to a comfortable seated position.


I went to a wonderful yoga workshop yesterday and was reminded once again about how yoga practice is just that – practice.  It got me thinking about how true that is of many things in life, including our eating habits.  Can I say honestly that I eat a perfectly balanced diet everyday or that I drink enough water 100% of the time?  Of course not – I’m human, and it takes practice.


I can tell you that my eating habits have gotten much better over the last few years and even in the last few months.  I’m always making changes, and actually often noticing changes that I wasn’t even aware I had made.  I eat far less processed food than I used to, and refined sugar has managed to almost entirely leave my diet.


There are times when I revert to eating foods that I know don’t make me feel my best.  Sometimes this is because I’m away and my choices are limited.  Sometimes it’s just because I’m having a bad day.  When I notice that I’ve slipped into old habits, I don’t get angry with myself. I remind myself that it’s all practice and I make sure that I focus the next day on getting back on track.


One of the teachers at the workshop talked about setting a theme for a period of time – an aspect to focus on in your yoga practice until you feel like you are ready to move onto another piece.  This can be good when we’re thinking about our eating habits as well.


Do you know that you don’t drink enough water?  Maybe for the next week or two, set the intention to be aware of how much water you are drinking and to increase it if necessary.  See how it makes you feel.  When you feel the positive impact that this change has on you, it will be easier to make it a habit, and then you can move onto the next step in your eating practice.


I’m always here for support – feel free to send me an email if you want to take this to a deeper level.


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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