Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Isvara Pranidhana

Isvara Pranidhana - yielding, opening, making our selves available to the Power of the Universe  to unfold into the next phase of our Greatness!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it gives everyone permission to look for the good in their life, to appreciate the wonderful gift of life, and to express gratitude to others.  It's actually cool to show your appreciation!

Thanksgiving invites us into Svadhyaya -the practice of self-reflection. It encourages us to go within to examine our lives and our selves, to reflect on what we are thankful for, to find the positive in those things that may not seem so good at first glance, to grow the feeling of gratitude, and to express it - to share it.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of what is good and the growth we've made along the way.  This celebration becomes fertilizer to help grow more good.

Here is a funny video about gratitude or lack thereof:

Check it out and then go Give Thanks for something or someone in your life!  Make everyday Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Svadhyaya - Part 2

Svadhyaya, as with many sacred teachings, offers many levels of wisdom.  On one level,  it is the practice of Self-Study, of Self-Reflection.  On another level it teaches us that we must do our own study - we must make our own effort - to do our own work.  No one else can do it for us.  We can have teachers, parents, family, friends, gurus, scriptures all guiding and supporting us, but in the end, we must do the devoting, the contemplating, the learning, the practices, the choosing, and the living for our selves.  When we do, we become strong enough to soar above, around, and through any potential pit falls we may encounter.   

The teaching of svadhyaya reminds me of the story of a little boy who while playing outside saw a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.  The little boy saw the butterfly struggling to get out and wanted to help.  So, he opened the cocoon and released the butterfly.  But he soon found that the butterfly could not fly!  His mother later explained that it is the butterfly's self-effort to get out of the cocoon that makes its wings strong enough to fly.  And only the butterfly can do the work necessary to build its wings strong enough to fly.  

So,  too, only each of us can do what it takes to be strong enough to fly!

Will you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Svadhaya is the fourth of the five Niyamas as outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali.  The Niyamas are practices offered to us that when we accept the invitation of their practice lead us to the knowledge and experience of our essential nature.

One's Own

Going into

Self -Study
Going into Self
Take into and Make One's Own
Bring out the essence of Self
Bring out One's Own
One's Own Study

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Street Yoga

I watched a video today of homeless youth who practice yoga and it opened and moved my heart.  I feel so tremendously blessed to have found yoga and to be able to share it with others through teaching.

It's so amazing how moving the body in sync with the breath while focusing the mind on the movement can ease pain, restore a feeling of wholeness, and increase our experience of joy.  And that's just the start.

If you haven't tried yoga yet, please do.  You too will be amazed.

And check out the video at streetyoga.org - that your heart may be opened and moved as well!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Art of Pure Food

Yesterday started smoothly with my morning practices and rituals but that would all change when I arrived at The Yoga Institute to teach the wednesday morning 9 am class.  The lock was ajar so my key wouldn't work.  Students began to arrive to find the teacher locked out!  But with some ingenuity and persistence, we got the key to work - late but we were in! So, I taught a 50-55 minute class instead of the usual 75 minute class.  It went well.  I attended Nancy's 10:30 yoga basics class and enjoyed a long savasana - just what I needed after the bumpy start to my class.

After yoga, Nancy and I enjoyed lunch at Houston's only raw/living foods restaurant, Art of Pure Food.  Art of Pure Food serves vegan raw/living food. What is vegan raw/living food?  Vegan raw/living food is fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, & sprouts prepared without heating the food above 108 degrees to preserve the enzymes.   

I had the spinach, arugula, and pear salad to start and the red beet ravioli with "goat cheese".  Of course, since this is a vegan restaurant, it really wasn't goat cheese!

red beet ravioli with "goat cheese"

I ate the salad before it occurred to me to take pictures!  Sorry, I was hungry!

Nancy had the "salmon" pate served on a bed of spinach and the Broccoli and "cheese" cannoli - not really salmon or cheese.  I'm not quite sure why the reference to animal products. It's vegan!

Broccoli and "cheese" cannoli

It was all delicious!  I'm planning a return visit as I write.  The restaurant is currently in a soft opening so I recommend calling before making the trip.  It' s located on Memorial Drive and Tully (outside Beltway 8).

Check it out!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Auspicious Times

Fall is a time of transition.  This transition is apparent in the weather in Houston which has been incredibly beautiful, making it easy to receive the days as the perfect gifts they are.  There is also a transition happening at The Woodlands Yoga Studio which is under new ownership.  The new owner is Anusara, i.e. John Friend.  These are exciting times to be a yogi in The Woodlands and the Houston area in general as Anusara assumes the role of offering yoga at the local level.   I’m sure it will be an offering full of Sri and Shakti (beauty and creative power). And I’m excited to be a part of it. Starting October 4th, I will be teaching two classes at  The Woodlands Yoga Studio on Monday mornings- a 9:00 intermediate/advance class and a 10:30 Basics class.  Please join me!
Stay tune for more!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Anusara Yoga Grand Gathering

Yoga Journal hosted the 2nd Anusara Yoga Grand Gathering September 19th - 23rd in Estes Park, Colorado.  It was a magical time - 3 1/2 days studying and practicing with my primary yoga teacher, John Friend, 12 of the top Anusara Yoga teachers, and 600 plus yoga practitioners!!!   The gathering opened on Sunday night with a warm welcome from John and an introduction of the 12 presenters and the 3 scholars on the program.  

I started the mornings with meditation lead by John, Sally Kempton, and Douglas Brooks on their respective day.  After breakfast each morning, John lead a 3 hour master class, each one was filled with asana, wisdom, shakti, and fun. In the the afternoons, I studied with Christina Sell, Christy Nones, Douglas Brooks, and Martin Kirk.  It was one great session after the next. The evenings were filled with a thought provoking scholar's panel discussion, a lively kirtan with Shantala,  a fun talent show, and hanging with friends from Houston, Arizona, and Colorado as well as meeting new friends.   

What a wonderful time - yoga, great teachers, good friends, and the Colorado Rocky Mountains, one of my favorite places!! 

Good Times!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day of Free Yoga

This was my first time participating in the Free Day of Yoga and it was great! I started the day teaching a Flow Class at 8 am at The Yoga Institute. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people get an early start to their day. I attended Raye Lynn's Backbend and Inversion class at 9:30 which was great fun. The studio was buzzing all day with lots of first time practitioners, seasoned yogis, and everyone in between. I stayed to help with the sign in for the 11:30 Yoga Basics class with Molly Donovan which was a full house. Then it came to me - How great it would be to capture this yoga-full day with pictures. So, I whipped out my iphone and went to work (well, it really wasn't work). But you know what I mean. We concluded the day with a Rock and Roll Vinyasa Class with George Sroka. Please check out the scenes of Molly's and George's classes in the video below.

Raye Lynn, owner of The Yoga Institute, gave away 4 one-month unlimited yoga memberships to 4 lucky yogis - one winner per class. What a wonderful gift- the gift of yoga.

Some students spent the entire day with us practicing yoga - a yogathon of sorts. Others took an early class, grabbed a snack, and returned for another class. It was fun to watch.

Visit Yoga Month to find more free yoga classes through the month of September.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September is National Yoga Month

September is a great time to learn more about yoga, try a new method, a new studio, or to try yoga for the first time. Many studios around the country including Houston are offering free classes on September 6th and offering a pass for a Free Week of Classes. Please visit Yoga Month to find events and participating studios in your area!

The Yoga Institute is offering four free classes at both the Houston and Clear Lake studios on September 6th. Come join me at the Houston location at 8:00 am for a Flow Class!

Life Time Athletic City Centre is offering a pass for a Free Week of yoga classes. Get one from Yoga Month and join us for yoga.

See you there!

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yoga for Better Digestion

Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose) We've all heard the old saying,   “You are what you eat” .   And while this is generally tru...