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The World in Us

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Yoga, yoga retreat | 4 comments

The World in Us

Many of us urban meditators long to take to our cushions in a quiet place. This in fact was one of the inspirations for a yoga and meditation retreat that my friend Linda Sparrowe and I recently led in the rainforest of Costa Rica.

On the first day as we were chatting with Tom Newmark, the founder of Finca Luna Nueva, the bio-sustainable farm and research center to which we had brought our group, he mentioned that his greatest difficulty with the city was it was too darn quiet! “You’ll see,” he smiled raising his eyebrows; “it is noisy here, very noisy.”

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All the wrong shoes. My life as an alien.

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in yoga retreat | 5 comments

All the wrong shoes.  My life as an alien.

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with a student who had signed up for my February retreat in Costa Rica. She was concerned about what the daily schedule would be like. I told her that we would be starting each day in silence, with meditation and a yoga class before breakfast. Her eyes widened. They might have welled up a little. “I am SO not a morning person!” she said. I could feel her anxiety ratcheting up so I tried to be reassuring….

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Who Is Your Teacher?

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Buddhism, Yoga, Yoga Teaching | 6 comments

Who Is Your Teacher?

Last week, after a class, a student who was visiting from San Francisco came up to talk. I had been impressed by her beautifully embodied poses, and her lively but concentrated manner. She asked if she could play the studio’s harmonium.  I was surprised, but consented. As I was gathering my things and saying good-bye to the other students, we were all stopped in our tracks by her gorgeous singing and playing. She only played very briefly and then quickly and expertly put everything away. She apologized for holding us up (which she hadn’t),...

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Stormy Weather and the Benefits of Practice

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Yoga, Yoga Teaching | 0 comments

Stormy Weather and the Benefits of Practice

  Lately I have found myself facing a number of personal challenges. Not unusual. Most of the time, or all of the time, we’ve all got STUFF. But sometimes it comes in waves, large and frightening. And then the ocean in which you’ve been blithely swimming suddenly appears threatening and murky. Shore can look very far away. I’ve often wondered how psychotherapists cope with times like this in their own lives. Or school teachers. Or really anyone who has to be coherent and responsible in front of others, which I suppose is most of us. Perhaps...

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There are no answers

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Buddhism, Yoga | 0 comments

There are no answers

There are no answers. But that doesn’t stop me from asking a ton of questions. It drives my husband crazy, and my daughter bananas. Sometimes I explain that it comes from my work and training as an oral historian.  Sometimes I suggest that it is because I love them, or am interested, or perhaps can help. And sometimes it is because I truly don’t know if I want a glass of wine until I know if you want one too. My patient yoga teachers also notice that I ask a lot of questions. They tell me that they love it. (Apparently said questions are...

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The Shifting Ground

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Yoga, Yoga Teaching | 6 comments

The Shifting Ground

In the midst of teaching a class last week, I checked in with a student who had been working with a series of injuries. When she commented that she was “falling apart,” intending to be encouraging I quickly assured her that she was not. Later in the day though I thought; “Well, she probably kind of is.”  A busy, working mom, sliding into the last weeks of her Yoga Teacher Training program, the ground was almost certainly shifting beneath her. Her statement reminded me of how I felt last year after an Embodied Anatomy class with...

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Winter 2014 — A Teacher’s Practice

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Yoga Teaching | 6 comments

My students have been coming into Yoga class pale and exhausted. This long East Coast winter has been brutal. I suggest they lie down, find their breath, their heartbeat.  We start with a restorative pose that opens their shoulders.  I encourage them to exhale. After some time in stillness, allowing the mind to take the shape of the body, I try to keep them busy and challenged, encouraging their attention to stay where it is needed as we explore the poses. Vinyasa yoga is good that way; you breathe in and do one thing, breathe out and do...

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The yoga of cake eating.

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Mindfulness, Yoga | 0 comments

  Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.  (Gertrude Stein) Pose is a pose is a pose is a pose. This is something that I got to thinking about while eating cake. Let me explain. Last weekend I baked a walnut torte.  The raw batter was yummy—fluffy with egg white and sugar.  That night after a big dinner with friends, the finished cake was appreciated for its moistness, and made fully and multi-layered indulgent by the slathering of whipped cream by some, and non-dairy rice whip  by others.  The next morning, consumed first thing and alone (no...

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Who Are You? Yoga, mindfulness, and star-stuff.

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 in Mindfulness, Yoga | 0 comments

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have asked the question, “Who am I?” And in one way or another, it keeps coming up…  If you have ever had to write a resume, or a professional bio of yourself, or even a profile for an online dating site, then you know just how fraught the question can become. I recently noticed that my bio at the studio where I teach yoga was quite out of date.  Because new students tell me that they do read these profiles before trying a class, it seemed a good idea to keep my page current.  I thought that the...

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Are We There Yet?

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Yoga, Yoga Teaching | 0 comments

My husband recently completed the first step of a business deal that represents the potential fulfillment of long cherished hopes.  I was so happy for him and was ready to break out the champagne.  “No way,” he said, “not yet.  It hasn’t happened and so much could go wrong in the interim.”  I sulked and went to yoga class. It seems to me a common misperception that we should wait until everything is all settled, fixed, and certain, before we celebrate.  We are afraid to count our chickens until they are hatched.  But what about celebrating...

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